Walt Whitman Every Week

NH Civil War Gal

Captain
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
https://emergingcivilwar.com/2020/12/13/to-a-locomotive-in-winter/#more-196918
This link has some really neat locomotive pictures but I'm not sure if they are in the public domain so I didn't post them, but I urge people to go look at them and read the full poem which is longer than I posted.

Thee for my recitative,
Thee in the driving storm even as now, the snow, the winter-day declining,
Thee in thy panoply, thy measur’d dual throbbing and thy beat convulsive,
Thy black cylindric body, golden brass, and silvery steel,
Thy ponderous side-bars, parallel and connecting rods, gyrating, shuttling at thy sides,
Thy metrical, now swelling pant and roar, now tapering in the distance,


Thy great protruding head-light fix’d in front,
Thy long, pale, floating vapor-pennants, tinged with delicate purple,
The dense and murky clouds out-belching from thy smoke-stack,
Thy knitted frame, thy springs and valves, the tremulous twinkle of thy wheels,
Thy train of cars behind, obedient, merrily following,
Through gale or calm, now swift, now slack, yet steadily careering;


Type of the modern—emblem of motion and power—pulse of the continent,
For once come serve the Muse and merge in verse, even as here I see thee,
With storm and buffeting gusts of wind and falling snow,
By day thy warning ringing bell to sound its notes,
By night thy silent signal lamps to swing.

To read the rest, please go to the link above.
 

NH Civil War Gal

Captain
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
https://emergingcivilwar.com/2020/1...star-group-to-a-southern-1889-90/#more-197349

Weekly Whitman: A Christmas Greeting from a Northern Star-Group to a Southern. 1889-’90​


Posted on December 20, 2020 by Meg Groeling



Saving-History-Saturday-3.jpg
image1482268730855.png


Walt Whitman sent a Christmas card to the entire country of Brazil in 1889. That year, a Brazilian field marshal named Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca overthrew Emperor Dom Pedro II and declared the nation a republic. On Christmas Day, seventy-year-old Whitman wrote a brief poem to welcome Brazil into the family of democratic nations. It is not a poem about the birth of Christ, it is a poem about the birth of democracy. Whitman thought a lot about what it meant to live in a democracy. He was born at a time when self-government was a new thing—an exciting experiment whose success was by no means guaranteed. And he lived through the cataclysm of the American Civil War—one of the most severe tests that any democracy has ever faced.

Almost everything that Whitman wrote was, at some level, an attempt to understand and explain the deepest principles of democracy. These principles went well beyond social organization. Democracy was simply the social extension of the idea that all human beings have equal worth. And only human beings who grasp this principle—really grasp it—can make a democratic society work. Democratic government, according to Whitman, required democratic people, or people who recognize the truth of fundamental human equality. This is what he told the Brazilians in his Christmas greeting.

Welcome, Brazilian brother—thy ample place is ready;
A loving hand—a smile from the north—a sunny instant hail!
(Let the future care for itself, where it reveals its troubles, impedimentas,
Ours, ours the present throe, the democratic aim, the acceptance and the faith:wink:
To thee to-day our reaching arm, our turning neck—
to thee from us the expectant eye,
Thou cluster free! thou brilliant lustrous one! thou, learning well,
The true lesson of a nation’s light in the sky,
(More shining than the Cross, more than the Crown,)
The height to be superb humanity.


This is a secular Christmas poem, but then– Walt was a thoroughgoing humanist. He believed that human beings have all the divinity necessary to make it through this world. His poem invokes the secular meaning of Christmas, a holiday celebrating universal humanity and goodwill. I will add, “God bless us, everyone.”
th.jpg
 

NH Civil War Gal

Captain
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
https://emergingcivilwar.com/2020/12/27/weekly-whitman-not-such-a-merry-christmas/#more-197382
"On September 30, 1864, George and most of his regiment were taken prisoner at Poplar Grove Church. He spent time in Richmond’s notorious Libby Prison and was later transferred to Danville’s military prison hospital. The Whitman family was not sure exactly where George was on December 26, 1864, and their uncertainty put a pall on any holiday celebrations, as did the New York weather. Whitman’s personal effects had been sent northward, but no information about George. Walt’s journal at the time reflects both melancholy and uncertainty:


Brooklyn, N.Y. December 26, 1864

I am writing this in the front basement in Portland Avenue, Brooklyn, at home. It is after 9 o’clock at night. We have had a wet day with fog, mud, slush, and the yet unmelted hard-polished ice liberally left in the streets. All sluggish and damp, with a prevailing leaden vapor. Yesterday, Christmas, about the same.



George’s trunk came up express early in forenoon today from City Point, Virginia (Walt’s brother Capt. George Whitman, 51st New York). Lieutenant Babcock, of the 51st, was kind enough to search it out and send it home. It stood some hours before we felt inclined to open it. Towards evening, Mother and Eddy looked over the things. One could not help feeling depressed. There were his uniform coat, pants, sash, etc. There were many things reminded us of him. Papers, memoranda, books, knick-knacks, a revolver, a small diary, roll of his company, a case of photographs of his comrades (several of them I knew as killed in battle), with other stuff such as a soldier accumulates."
 

NH Civil War Gal

Captain
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
https://emergingcivilwar.com/2021/01/03/weekly-whitman-and-the-war-came/#more-197850
Saving-History-Saturday-3.jpg



69c37a603d94911bc0e7fc814bd6e420.jpg

New Year’s Day in 1861 New York City

With a new year upon us—after being crushed by 2020—we gift you with a poem. “1861.” Manhattan was a separate part of New York City at that time, and Walt Whitman spent a great deal of time there, reporting on New York’s war preparations. Just like the rest of the country—North and South—Whitman was under the delusion that the war would be short and glorious. Daily he saw New York men sign up with a variety of units, then regiments, in response to President Lincoln’s call for 75,000 men to “put down the rebellion.” These newly-minted soldiers marched the streets and stayed in makeshift armories, wearing everything from farm clothing to gorgeous bespoke uniforms, waiting for an army uniform of their own. And Walt Whitman, just like the rest of New York City, cheered them onward, flags unfurled.
 

NH Civil War Gal

Captain
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
http://emergingcivilwar.com/2021/01/10/weekly-whitman-the-sounds-of-winter/

Weekly Whitman: The Sounds of Winter​


Posted on January 10, 2021 by Meg Groeling


Saving-History-Saturday-3.jpg

yard_snow_apple_trees_winter_view.jpg
Union and Confederate soldiers spent three winters in service during the years 1861-65. Whether it was winter merriment in New Orleans or, more commonly, bivouacked among the snowdrifts of the South, it was cold and strange for men who had not seen their families or celebrated the holidays at home in a long time. Walt Whitman tried to cheer his patients in Washington’s hospitals with small gifts and winter apples, but it was a cold, lonely time for most. “Sounds of the Winter” was published in the “2nd Annex: Good-Bye My Fancy” section in Walt Whitman’s last edition of Leaves of Grass (1891-1892). Whitman worked on Leaves of Grass throughout his adult life, continually editing, adding, and taking away poems and bits of poems. His war experiences are reflected in later editions.
______________________
Sounds of Winter[1]
Sounds of the winter too,
Sunshine upon the mountains-many a distant strain
From cheery railroad train-from nearer field, barn, house
The whispering air-even the mute crops, garner’d apples, corn,
Children’s and women’s tones-rhythm of many a farmer and of flail,
And old man’s garrulous lips among the rest, Think not we give out yet,
Forth from these snowy hairs we keep up yet the lilt.
herry-flowering-plant-rose-family-land-plant-97467.jpg
______________________
While you read this poem, crank up some sounds of winter at this link and give some thoughts to our military, no matter where they are spending this winter.
________________________
[1] https://www.thespectrum.com/story/o...m-day-sounds-of-winter-walt-whitman/77736990/
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
I'm going to post the Emerging Civil War, Walt Whitman Every Week series here:
NH Civil War Gal - am looking forward to this - I am sure it’s going to be interesting
https://emergingcivilwar.com/2020/10/31/not-a-trick-walt-whitman-every-week/#more-195972
In between doing the final edits for First Fallen, reviewing books, worrying about everything in general and nothing in particular, and petting cats, I have been noodling around with some ways of writing about American poet Walt Whitman. He is a problematic person. Some might find his gayness an issue; some may object to his Yankeeness or his part-time occupation as a wound dresser in Washington hospitals. However, he served both sides if there was a soldier on the operating table.


I will endeavor to share Whitman’s world with ECW readers. I will not only share his poetry, but there will also be some interesting and unusual interpretations of Whitman’s work which shed some light on the antebellum North, especially New York City. Although Whitman never served in the Union army, the American Civil War was the defining event of his life. He shared this with every soldier, every politician, every parent, sibling, and loved one who lived through the 1860s. There are reasons his verses are quoted so often in books about the Civil War. Readers may find some new favorites or remember to appreciate the old ones. If chapter quotes are the only familiarity a reader has with Whitman, prepare to be amazed. His words, his ideas, and his heart capture our nation during the Civil War in a way no one else ever has.


Once a week—that is my goal, anyway–a blog post will highlight some aspects of Whitman’s life. You will hear his voice. You will listen to other famous voices read his work. Pieces of artwork will be shared that complement the poetry. Music will enhance some of Whitman’s offerings. If you already love Walt Whitman, I hope this is pleasing. If you hate him, I hope it is enlightening. And if you are somewhere in between, or don’t know him—welcome to your weekly Walt Whitman.


View attachment 381002
 

NH Civil War Gal

Captain
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
https://emergingcivilwar.com/2021/01/24/weekly-whitman-the-dresser/
This poem effected me the most of all his poems. This one is long, so as to not interfere with copyright or anything, I encourage everyone to go to the link and have a weep like I did.

This poem is sometimes called “The Wound Dresser.” It is notable for cataloguing the daily scenes of the hospital without becoming gruesome or maudlin. Sometimes Whitman simply sat with a patient, holding a hand so that the soldier would know he was not alone. We—in this time of Covid—now know just how important that contact is. Whitman knew instinctively.


convalescing-union-soldiers-alexandria-hospital.jpg
 

NH Civil War Gal

Captain
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
https://emergingcivilwar.com/2021/01/31/weekly-whitman-city-of-ships/
Saving-History-Saturday-3.jpg



4-walt-whitman-1819-1892-granger.jpg


Walt Whitman was always the New Yorker, and in this poem Whitman returns to his beloved city, where so much of the world’s diversity comes together as one. As simple as a harbor of ships seems, the poet helps us see his metaphor for the Union—out of many, one—and such a one that will emerge victorious in this “war, red war…”. Loyalty and Union are unquestioned.

_______________________________________________________


City of Ships



City of ships!
(O the black ships! O the fierce ships!
O the beautiful sharp-bow’d steam-ships and sail-ships!)
City of the world! (for all races are here,
All the lands of the earth make contributions here:wink:
City of the sea! city of hurried and glittering tides!
City whose gleeful tides continually rush or recede, whirling in and out with eddies and foam!
City of wharves and stores—city of tall facades of marble and iron!
Proud and passionate city—mettlesome, mad, extravagant city!
Spring up O city—not for peace alone, but be indeed yourself, warlike!
Fear not—submit to no models but your own O city!
Behold me—incarnate me as I have incarnated you!
I have rejected nothing you offer’d me—whom you adopted I have adopted,
Good or bad I never question you—I love all—I do not condemn any thing,
I chant and celebrate all that is yours—yet peace no more,
In peace I chanted peace, but now the drum of war is mine,
War, red war is my song through your streets, O city!
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
Tina, if I may, I would like to share a poem by Will Carelton who was as passionate about the young soldiers as Whitman. I am posting the 1st stanza of Cover Them Over with a link to the complete poem below.
Regards
David

Cover Them Over

"Cover them over with beautiful flowers;
Deck them with garlands, those brothers of ours;
Lying so silent, by night and by day,
Sleeping the years of their manhood away:
Years they had marked for the joys of the brave;
Years they must waste in the sloth of the grave.
All the bright laurels that promised to bloom
Fell to the earth when they went to the tomb.
Give them the meed they have won in the past;
Give them the honors their merits forecast;
Give them the chaplets they won in the strife;
Give them the laurels they lost with their life.
Cover them over—yes, cover them over—
Parent, and husband, and brother, and lover:
Crown in your heart these dead heroes of ours.
And cover them over with beautiful flowers!"

Cover Them Over
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/54003/54003-h/54003-h.htm#COVER_THEM_OVER
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
Walt certainly had a way with words, did he not?

I believe this is my favorite of his works this year.
As I am now 71 this jewel pretty much sums up my life in so many ways!
Regards
David

"After surmounting three-score and ten,
With all their chances, changes, losses, sorrows,
My parents' deaths, the vagaries of my life, the many tearing
passions of me, the war of '63 and '4,
As some old broken soldier, after a long, hot, wearying march,
or haply after battle,
To-day at twilight, hobbling, answering company roll-call, Here,
with vital voice,
Reporting yet, saluting yet the Officer over all."
 

NH Civil War Gal

Captain
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
https://emergingcivilwar.com/2021/03/07/weekly-whitman-look-down-fair-moon/

Weekly Whitman: “Look down fair moon”​


Posted on March 7, 2021 by Meg Groeling

Saving-History-Saturday-3.jpg
full-moon-setting.jpg


A scene Whitman used several times was the look of the battlefield, complete with casualties, under the moon. It was one of his first introductions to the realities of war, as he crossed several such scenes until he found his slightly-wounded brother. Finding him mortally wounded, or dead, was one of Whitman’s recurring nightmares.
_____________________________________________________
Look down fair moon[1]
Look down fair moon and bathe this scene,
Pour softly down night’s nimbus floods on faces ghastly, swollen, purple,
On the dead on their backs with arms toss’d wide,
Pour down your unstinted nimbus sacred moon.

the_graves_of_our_dead_comrades_sgm_321.png


[1] Whitman, Walt. Drum-Taps: The Complete Civil War Poems. Kennebunkport, Maine; Cider Mill Press, 2015. 161
 

NH Civil War Gal

Captain
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
https://emergingcivilwar.com/2021/02/07/weekly-whitman-an-army-corps-on-the-march/

Weekly Whitman: An Army Corps on the March​


Posted on February 7, 2021 by Meg Groeling


Saving-History-Saturday-3.jpg

th.jpg

Hard marching soldier shoes
In 1865 Whitman engaged New York publisher Peter Eckler to print the first issue of Drum-Taps. After President Lincoln’s death, Whitman chose to stop printing efforts and wait for some time to pass. In the autumn of 1865 he added the Sequel, which included this poem along with seventeen other new poems. In 1871 Whitman selected the present title, “An Army Corps on the March,” and he also changed the last line of the poem from the original “As the army resistless advances” to “As the army corps advances.”

Like several other poems in Drum-Taps, “An Army Corps on the March” sketches a realistic free-verse portrait of a typical Civil War scene. They include images of dust cover’d men, sweating horses, the rumble of wheels, and the sound of a single shot snapping like a whip and later an irregular volley of shots. Featuring such descriptive work in small pieces helps us all build the collection of mental snapshots that create modern images of the Civil War.

__________________________________________________________-

An Army Corps on the March

With its cloud of skirmishers in advance,
With now the sound of a single shot snapping like a whip, and
now an irregular volley,
The swarming ranks press on and on, the dense brigades press
on,

Glittering dimly, toiling under the sun—the dust-cover’d men,
In columns rise and fall to the undulations of the ground,
With artillery interspers’d—the wheels rumble, the horses sweat,
As the army corps advances.

marching-army.jpg
 

Crossroads

Private
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
I'm going to post the Emerging Civil War, Walt Whitman Every Week series here:

https://emergingcivilwar.com/2020/10/31/not-a-trick-walt-whitman-every-week/#more-195972
In between doing the final edits for First Fallen, reviewing books, worrying about everything in general and nothing in particular, and petting cats, I have been noodling around with some ways of writing about American poet Walt Whitman. He is a problematic person. Some might find his gayness an issue; some may object to his Yankeeness or his part-time occupation as a wound dresser in Washington hospitals. However, he served both sides if there was a soldier on the operating table.


I will endeavor to share Whitman’s world with ECW readers. I will not only share his poetry, but there will also be some interesting and unusual interpretations of Whitman’s work which shed some light on the antebellum North, especially New York City. Although Whitman never served in the Union army, the American Civil War was the defining event of his life. He shared this with every soldier, every politician, every parent, sibling, and loved one who lived through the 1860s. There are reasons his verses are quoted so often in books about the Civil War. Readers may find some new favorites or remember to appreciate the old ones. If chapter quotes are the only familiarity a reader has with Whitman, prepare to be amazed. His words, his ideas, and his heart capture our nation during the Civil War in a way no one else ever has.


Once a week—that is my goal, anyway–a blog post will highlight some aspects of Whitman’s life. You will hear his voice. You will listen to other famous voices read his work. Pieces of artwork will be shared that complement the poetry. Music will enhance some of Whitman’s offerings. If you already love Walt Whitman, I hope this is pleasing. If you hate him, I hope it is enlightening. And if you are somewhere in between, or don’t know him—welcome to your weekly Walt Whitman.


View attachment 381002
Has anyone read pages 110 - 112 in "The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell" ?

It starts half about halfway down page 110.

"Whitman's poetry and his nursing of the Civil War wounded are known to anyone who has attended a good high school. Whitman's diary, however, reveals other diversions not usually mentioned in high school English classes.
 

John Hartwell

Major
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Location
Central Massachusetts
Has anyone read pages 110 - 112 in "The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell" ?

It starts half about halfway down page 110.

"Whitman's poetry and his nursing of the Civil War wounded are known to anyone who has attended a good high school. Whitman's diary, however, reveals other diversions not usually mentioned in high school English classes.
Whitman's personal life was his own affair. His wartime efforts for the wounded in Washington's hospitals broke his health, and he never fully recovered: his sacrifice was heroic. His poetry, of course, is for the ages.
 
Last edited:

NH Civil War Gal

Captain
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
http://emergingcivilwar.com/2021/03/14/weekly-whitman-come-up-from-the-fields-father/


Because we are being especially careful about copyright issues, especially with pictures, I'll only be posting parts of the poems from "Whitman Every Sunday." This link has some beautiful pictures with it from reflecting what Mid-western families went through on the plains and with mourning. Please go to the link to read this entire poem.

Come Up from the Fields, Father


Come up from the fields father, here’s a letter from our Pete,
And come to the front door mother, here’s a letter from thy dear son.


Lo, ’tis autumn,
Lo, where the trees, deeper green, yellower and redder,
Cool and sweeten Ohio’s villages with leaves fluttering in the moderate wind,
Where apples ripe in the orchards hang and grapes on the trellis’d vines,
(Smell you the smell of the grapes on the vines?
Smell you the buckwheat where the bees were lately buzzing?)


Above all, lo, the sky so calm, so transparent after the rain, and with wondrous clouds,
Below too, all calm, all vital and beautiful, and the farm prospers well.
 

John Hartwell

Major
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Location
Central Massachusetts
Yes, please read the entire poem, it is moving and tragic. One more selection:

Open the envelope quickly,​
O this is not our son’s writing, yet his name is sign’d,​
O a strange hand writes for our dear son, O stricken mother’s soul!​
All swims before her eyes, flashes with black, she catches the main words only,​
Sentences broken, gunshot wound in the breast, cavalry skirmish, taken to hospital,​
...​
Whitman himself penned many such letters for sick and wounded soldiers:
1615735901170.png
1615735824319.png

[source: Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, Library of Congress]​

The tragedy here is that David Ferguson (Co.I, 15th N.Y. Engineers) was unaware that his wife, Margaret, had died just a few days before he dictated this letter in Washington's Hartwood Hospital.
 
Last edited:
Top