Come out for a stroll, and maybe a tumble by the stream, and a perusal of all that makes up our being, our reality, and our universal world. We will be taking on the bearded crusader, Walt Whitman, and reading as close to whole as possible the 1855 and 1892 versions of Song of Myself, while getting outside into the physical and experiential. First of all, we will enjoy the poem and all he has to show us, we will allow our discussion of his intent and his effects to take us where it will. Because discussion of Whitman inevitably climbs high into the meta/universalities and generalities, I want our discussions to happen while we are out in rich environments, so that, if necessary, we can bring ourselves back down to earth, and refer to examples present and readily found around us, which are no different, according to him, from what he sought to present.
Whitman believed in the parts speaking for the whole, however hypocritical and contradictory things may seem to get, since the world does indeed contain multitudes. The course is meant to elicit new readings and interpretations of the poem and the world around us, as was its original intention. We will also bring in some of those who influenced and were influenced by Whitman. We may try to track down a soot covered sunflower or two. Likely destinations include Forest Hills Cemetery and Mount Auburn Cemetery, The Arnold Arboretum, Blue Hills Reservation, The Beach, The Banks of the River Charles, Castle Island, the new and changing Seaport District, etc.
Meeting Times: We will meet during the weekend as much as possible, but may meet on odd weekday evenings
Start Date: This Sunday 9/25/11
Cost: Contribution to snack potluck at the beginning of each meeting
Can I join the class once it has begun, even late in the semester: Most Definitely