The Life of Walt Whitman
Learn more about Whitman’s life here. Pay special attention to the two sections on Whitman and the Civil War.
Take notes throughout our work on Whitman on the notes pages provided in class. These notes pages go into your American Studies Binder/Notebook!
A great 2016 article on Whitman… Why Walt Whitman Called America the ‘Greatest Poem’
Doc’s slides on Whitman:whitman-biography-slideshow-pdf
The Poems of Walt Whitman
Questions about the Levi’s commercial:
Answer these questions in the “America” section of your Whitman notes.
- What about “America” relates to Levi’s brand? To blue jeans?
- Why would Levi’s use this poem to advertise its company, brand, and product?
- What words or images does Levi’s want us to associate with their brand and product?
- Or, what about Whitman would Levi’s want us to associate with their brand and product?
Walt Whitman also uses an archaic definition of the word “adamant” in his poem “America”: “a legendary rock or mineral to which many, often contradictory, properties were attributed.” You do not need to memorize this archaic definition, but we will refer to it when we look at Whitman’s poetry.
Assignment for “America”
O Captain! My Captain!
- The Walt Whitman Archive
- Library of Congress’s Whitman and the Civil War
- Library of Congress’s Poet of the Nation
- Disunion: Inside Walt Whitman’s Notebook
- Lincoln and Whitman
- “Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman: War’s Kindred Spirits”