Walt Whitman rose from obscurity to become the quintessential American poet. His poetic legacy has touched the hearts, minds, and souls of millions of readers around the world, and his influence has been enormous on the course of modern American poetry, influencing such great twentieth century poets as Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Hart Crane, and Allen Ginsberg, whose iconoclastic poem "Howl" would have been impossible to write without its iconoclastic predecessor, "Song of Myself." Whitman paved the way for a new type of poetry, a free verse unencumbered by the rigid rules of meter and rhyme. He spoke for the people in their own language, using the speech patterns of the common American citizen, and he found a way through words to unite humanity with nature as a spiritual force and to find God in every man, woman, and child.
"Walt Whitman: Song of Myself" captures the essence of the central poem in Whitman's lifelong work, "Leaves of Grass." Poet, performer, and professor Jack Ramey's full and sensitive reading of carefully chosen passages from "Song of Myself" brings to life Whitman as a microcosm of humanity, the fleshly poet of the sensual Body and the mystical poet of the Soul, the poet of Everyman, the poet of the people, and the poet of American Democracy.
Using archival photographs of Whitman and his times, paintings from transcendental artists of the Hudson River school, and stunningly beautiful visuals from the natural landscape, Eric Marciano illustrates one of the key poems in American literature. A deeply moving experience.