Song of mns

Camerados, this is a selfie of me and Whitman taken last week in the National Portrait Gallery, where I had gone to see a special exhibit on Sylvia Plath (a 20th-century confessional poet, a movement that owed much to Uncle Walt’s frankness).  I didn’t have to look like a weirdo in the corner, almost as grizzled as WW himself; I was with a friend who could have taken a better shot.  But my relationship with the poets we are studying is personal and so this seemed more appropriate.  Also, sometimes I feel I can only access Whitman and Dickinson partially as their genius astounds me, so my partial face can symbolize that. Though I have been a Dickinson devotee for many years, it took me into my middle age to love Whitman– I had admired him, but I had to find a less hypermasculine Whitman to really connect, and I did (oddly, given that war is a masculine enterprise, by immersing in his Civil War works).  I can and will fangirl about these two poets. You’re forewarned.

Some things I could venture to say about me:
I am honestly not nearly as nice as people are making me sound on this blog.
I believe literature matters and spend much time thinking about how and why.
I too would rather be in fresh air and I am also a vegetarian.
I would like to like gardening but.
I have two children and three pets.
I overwatch British drama and mystery tv.
I am a Pittsburgher and miss mountains.
I have names for my two imaginary future goats.
I am personally affronted by very hot sunny days.
I have an unusually(?) large collection of literary-themed jewelry and clothing.
I specialize in fruit-based desserts.
I actually do love poetic scansion.
I fixate on the moon.

10 Replies to “Song of mns”

  1. I like that you are in the corner of the shot. It almost feels like you have twinkle in your eye that plays off of Whitmans nearly ethereal gaze in the distance. I wonder what he thought of this exact portrait. There’s a lot more to explore in his photographs and I thought it was really interesting to read about how he felt about some and loved others. Would this be a piece that he felt was a particular to his style or something that he would have merely acknowledged?

  2. The Eakins rendition of Whitman is giving me those grandfatherly Robert Frost vibes

  3. Okay, I am going to ask the question that no one has yet. What are the names of your two imaginary future goats?!

  4. Oh my gosh, you’ve been to the National Portrait gallery too. Did you see the painting of Washington Irving’s “Headless Horseman”? It was on the second floor, near the hall of Presidents. Really great gallery.

  5. Rickety and Dream-child

    Ferris Greenslet, 1899: Modern Poetry is “the rickety dream-child of neurotic aestheticism.” Love it.

    Also, Morgan, for us “dream-child” has Alice connotations as well.

  6. No, Alexis! I didn’t! I’ve been a few times and will definitely look next time.

  7. Dr. Scanlon, the tree freak and depressive vibes gave that painting a very disturbing vibe to his smile. I don’t know if I can look at his smile the same way now. Grandfatherly just took a dive into disturbing patriarch of poetry with extreme sexist issues.

  8. Dear Professor Scanlon,

    I think Rickety and Dreamchild are wonderful names for the two imaginary goats. Personally I used to love Alice in Wonderland as a child so this brought back fond childhood memories for me.

    I also enjoy British Drama, such as Great Expectations, Doctor Thorne, Lorna Doone, Poldark, Little Dorrit, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Indian Summers, Nicholas Nickleby, etc.

    I look forward to a great summer semester ahead and I am excited to learn more about Whitman and Dickinson!

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