Rare Walt Whitman Artifacts Go on View »

Happy 200th birthday, Walt Whitman! To celebrate the poet’s bicentennial, the Library of Congress has a special exhibition of some of his belongings and notebooks. If you’re in Washington DC this summer, stop in for a visit. On June 3, the notebook will join a pair of partly frosted eyeglasses and a walking cane given […]

Walt Whitman Exhibit »

The University of Virginia is marking Walt Whitman’s bicentennial with a new exhibit. If you’re in the area, it’s ongoing to July 29th. This year, the University of Virginia celebrates the bicentennial of his birth with an exhibition, “Encompassing Multitudes: The Song of Walt Whitman.” The exhibit showcases various editions of his best-known volume, “Leaves […]

Civil War Podcast #5 – The Fiery Gospel »

I’m in over the wire this week, but hey – it’s still February 5th somewhere, so I’m counting it anyway! This week, I celebrate the anniversary of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, published this day (or yesterday, if you want to get technical) in 1862. You can download the podcast by visiting the February […]

Bivouac of the Dead »

As a teenaged tourist to Civil War battlefields (and the accompanying cemeteries), it was impossible to escape The Bivouac of the Dead.  The morbid, dreary stanzas were mounted on plaques around every cemetery. My parents being eager to continue the drive down to the beach (the battlefield visits were a holiday concession; exchanged for 3 […]

“John Brown’s Body” – Live! »

I’m too late to shill this local theatre production, which is a shame, but it looks as though there are other dates for Wyomingites to attend.  It’s a live reading of Stephen Vincent Benet’s epic poem, with choral accompaniment. An unusual spectacle but an interesting one. “John Brown’s Body” was originally produced for the stage […]

Pensive on Her Dead Gazing »

This Walt Whitman poem closed out the recent PBS documentary Death and the Civil War (based on the excellent Drew Gilpin Faust history, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War) I’ve never been a poetry student, but I knew as soon as the narrator started in that it was a Whitman piece. […]

New Poet Laureate »

A new Poet Laureate has been named, and she’s a Civil War buff (at least insofar as she wrote a collection of war-themed poems). Brava, Natasha Trethewey. The Library of Congress named Natasha Trethewey yesterday its 19th U.S. poet laureate, with a mission to share the art of poetry with a wider audience. The English […]

Memorial Day, Memorialised »

For Memorial Day, an excerpt of Voluntaries, by Ralph Waldo Emerson In an age of fops and toys, Wanting wisdom, void of right, Who shall nerve heroic boys To hazard all in Freedom’s fight,– Break sharply off their jolly games, Forsake their comrades gay, And quit proud homes and youthful dames, For famine, toil, and […]

The Walt Whitman Archive »

I was looking for the source of Walt Whitman’s war reminiscences, and happened upon the Walt Whitman Archive. Not only does it have the published anecdotes, it also offers all his poetry and a trove of letters, too. Whitman’s writing is very readable. I planned to leaf through some of the Memoranda, and wound up […]

Civil War Inspired Poetry »

I’m not much of a poetry connoisseur, but I liked the idea behind these works. S. Thomas Summers writes in the voice of ordinary soldiers, basing some of his poems on letters or photos. Union Solider Recounts the Burning of Atlanta A local boy said the smoke was darker than the walls of a heifer’s […]