Friday, May 18, 2012

Final Project

Am I indecisive? Very well then I am indecisive...I contain multitudes. After two aborted project ideas explored in this very blog, plus a scrap of a poem and an inspiration for a collage (I hereby declare that collage is the most appropriate visual medium for Whitman), I will share a smidgen of what I learned from/about Whitman this semester, which is in many ways a reminder of what I already knew, and I think he would appreciate that. I return to the blog form we have used all semester.

Through Leaves of Grass, I was inspired to attempt writing and drawing again, and claiming my own knowledge by my own authority again. It was refreshing to read a poem, and a sprawling one at that, like "Song of Myself," and feel confident that I can share it with my loved ones who are not English majors, which is a rare treat these days. It was often frustrating to read about such physicality and spontaneity and yet be constantly cramped within "houses and rooms," whether working at my office job, commuting or studying. I'm sick of feeling like the twenty-ninth bather and I have a lot of loafing to catch up on this summer.

As I was reviewing the preface to Leaves of Grass again, Whitman's enthusiasm for and confidence in everyday American people made me think of the Rally to Restore Sanity/March to Keep Fear Alive, which I attended a couple years ago with my brother. There were so many more people than expected that all transportation routes to the National Mall were clogged for hours and we had to take a taxi to Arlington and walk. I missed the epic battle between Cat Stevens's "Peace Train" and Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train," which would have disappointed me more had I not been greeted by all this:

 Here are our fellow Americans, and in case you can't read the print on their signs, they're calling for peace, hugs, civic engagement, ideas instead of insults, an end to hyperbolic accusations, patience, excellence, good spelling, and the metric system. We came from all over the country to affirm our independence from polarizing politics, our goodwill, and to tease each other a bit.

While I was sitting here, preoccupied and grumpy for much of the last couple years, these photos of one of my best memories were sitting here, too, just waiting to be rediscovered and shared, and Whitman was the catalyst for that rediscovery.

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome Whitman helped spark your creativity again. I think you're right, a collage is perfect to represent Walt.