david prater had an even-handed article in the Weekend Australian, this weekend. interesting because he drew in whitman, & this made me remember his poems & story. i talked upon these thing in a class once. the emerson factoid made me laugh when i first heard it all those years ago (no-one in the class laughed. curious. picture me giving a seminar to 12 people, 10 of them not having read the ‘song’, tho they may have clocked the length…). apparently emerson wrote to whitman saying how good his poems where. whitman quoted emerson’s private letter in his book-publicity. emerson apparently said in conversation (another ‘private’ forum?) he found it a ‘strange, rude thing to do’. ha.
mostly it all makes me think of the song itself. i should revisit it, be more influenced, casually. i wonder if there will be a whitman movie? perhaps there already has been? i imagine a bearded (yet handsome) whitman lying somewhere scenic. he reclines, & gradually – to some suitably stirring melody – he lightly touches himself. then the voice-over begins to intone: ‘i loafe & invite myself…’ or something…
what a great poem. & self-important individual. all tied together.