Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Illuminating Walt Whitman’s Words with Pictures

It’s one of the great openings in all of American literature: “I celebrate myself, / And what I assume you shall assume, / For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” So begins Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” the opening and central poem of Whitman’s life’s work, Leaves of Grass. Generations of readers—many enthralled, but many confused—have encountered the “Good Gray Poet” in classrooms, but Whitman’s the poet of wide open spaces from the wilderness to the cosmos. Allen Crawford’s new illustrated version of “Song of Myself,” titled Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself, hopes to bring clarity to those struggling with the poem in the belief that “every atom belonging to” Whitman “as good” still remains to us, if only we can crack the poet’s code and rediscover the good he recognized in everyone through his fervent spiritual, poetic, and democratic ideals. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Illuminating Walt Whitman’s Words with Pictures."