Course Description

ONLINE: Walt Whitman’s poetry was revolutionary in content and form. Writing of his feelings and thoughts, of his countrymen and of nature, Whitman believed he was the first American poet foreseen by Emerson in his essay of 1844. Whitman spent the last half of his life adding and revising poems and reshaping "Leaves of Grass," a seminal work in American poetry. Many critics believe Whitman wrote his strongest poetry early in his career; however, Whitman wrote a number of singularly excellent poems in later life. In this course, we will concentrate on his earlier writing (excluding "Song of Myself"). We will also look at several later poems such as “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking” and “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” We will discuss many of his Civil War poems and his poems from "Memories of President Lincoln." Students will gain an understanding of many of Whitman’s best-known poems and his place in American poetry. In class, we will read, analyze and discuss selected poems. | Facilitated discussion.

Max enrollment: 20.

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Section Title
Walt Whitman: Beyond "Song of Myself"
Online - Zoom
3:30PM to 5:00PM
Sep 14, 2023 to Nov 16, 2023
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Virtual Classroom  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Please note: During class meetings, when the instructors refer to poem titles, they will cite pages in the specified 1973 publication of the Norton Critical Edition, edited by Bradley and Blodgett. However, students who have the 2002 publication of the Norton Critical Edition, edited by Michael Moon, will be able to find the same poems using the table of contents.

Required reading:
Walt Whitman. "Leaves of Grass/Norton Critical Edition" (9780393093889)

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