Walt Whitman: this is what You shall do.

Via on Mar 15, 2010

walt whitman this is what you shall do

This is what you shall do: dismiss whatever insults your own soul.

Walt Whitman: this is what You shall do.

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35 Responses to “Walt Whitman: this is what You shall do.”

  1. Ted Daniels says:

    Beat ya to it! It's been on my FB page & my blog (http://weneedus.tumblr.com) for a couple weeks now.

  2. Sounds pretty Yogic to me. Some readers may not be aware that Walt Whitman and the other "American Transcendentalists", including Thoreau and Emerson, were heavily influenced by the ancient Yoga texts, particularly the Upanishads. It was the original introduction of Yoga into America.

    This is something I want to learn more about, if anyone has any sources to recommend. I read these guys as an English major back in college before I knew the first thing about Yoga, so I'm anxious to curl up with a copy of "Leaves of Grass" and see how it comes across today now that I have been heavily influenced by the ancient Yoga texts myself.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  3. Rob V says:

    Walt Whitman was not a Transcendentalist, Bob. But look more into Jack Kerouac if you want more modern Eastern-inspired American writers.

  4. Rob V says:

    I guess what I'm saying is that Whitman was not a part of the Transcendental movement (capital T) that included thinkers like Emerson and Thoreau. Though Whitman was inspired by Emerson in particular, he was not a Transcendentalist, even if he spouted similar ideals. One of the most important limiting factors of Transcendentalism as a movement is that it was New England-based – all while Whitman was in New York.

  5. Thanks for the clarification, Rob. I have to confess I'm a bit confused, though. What does it take to merit the label if not being inspired by Transcendentalists and spouting similar ideals? Surely geography doesn't trump substance in a literary/philosophical movement, does it?

  6. Rob V says:

    Well, the Transcendental movement was quite literally a club, with meetings and everything!

    • Looks like we have a case of the same word being used to mean a variety of things. As you probably know, many scholars lump Whitman right in with what I'll call the "Boston Transcendentalists", as does whoever wrote Wikipedia and my college curriculum.

      No matter, though. I appreciate the refinement you have made. Thanks.

  7. Joseph Boquiren says:

    I often recite Walt Whitman quotes to my class during Savasana :)

  8. Ana says:

    Dismiss whatever insults your own soul…. gotta love that phrase! Pure wisdom. Thanks for sharing

  9. no idea says:

    I'll add a (dramatically non-poetic) point of clarification: Dismiss whatever insults your own soul, but do _not_ dismiss whatever insults your ego. Two different things that can get confused.

    Also, Walt Whitman is beautiful.

  10. adan says:

    words i needed to read & hear this morning ;-; thanks!

  11. Sunita Pillay says:

    Thank you very much for this!

  12. [...] the similarities between Pinnochio and our own humanness. No matter how hard he tried to do the right thing, he was always drawn toward disaster because of his desires or laziness. Thankfully, the Blue Fairy [...]

  13. tracy betts says:

    Such a beautiful face, and exquisite words, Thanks!

  14. Jill Barth says:

    Letting this settle in into my day. Thanks for this reminder.

  15. Perfect. I love Walt & definitely need to find a good spot in the woods Dead Poet style & do some re-reading.

    "I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
    I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world.”

  16. [...] piece of you that doesn’t care about what other people think if it means holding onto what insults your soul. In that case, disregard the previous instructions completely and take this advice [...]

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  18. [...] 1. Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman. Sure you’ve read it. Or have you? Maybe you remember some of it from high school or college. When was the last time you sat down and read a book of poetry cover to cover? “This is what you shall do…” [...]

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  21. Tianna says:

    Whitman's writings were influenced by his Quaker upbringing/background and associations.

  22. [...] “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman. “A very beautiful poem that’s on my wall in my yurt/studio. [...]

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  24. Sharmishtha says:

    Needed it now!
    “Dismiss whatever insults your own soul, but do _not_ dismiss whatever insults your ego. Two different things that can get confused.”

  25. pandu says:

    Natural picture.
    dismiss whatever insults your own soul ‘cos these happenings are just experiences leading to wisdom.For acquiring this only we have taken birth on this planet workshop among tight demand
    among co-souls waiting to take birth.

  26. In the novel, "No More Heroes," Walt Whitman's poetry is referred to a lot. Several title's appear as well as the prose. Enjoy the novel and the characters within.
    http://www.amazon.com/No-More-Heroes-Henry-Bierna

  27. Linda V. Lewis says:

    Alan Ginsberg traced his poetic lineage to William Carlos Williams, back to Whitman, back further to Blake. You could say all were mystics, in that none of these poetic gentlemen were square pegs fitting into square holes. WCW was a doctor, who wrote haiku-like poems on scraps of paper, picking up the language of the folks he treated. "No images but in things"–made poems more vivid: e.g. both he and Ginsberg who was also a great poetics teacher, taught to use specifics rather than generalities–so use "morning dove" or "ground sparrow" or "goldfinch" rather than "bird". Whitman was a male nurse in the Civil War and cared, like WCW, so much for the ordinary fellow man. He exudes kindness and love in his poetry–like Blake–who cared for the lowly chimney sweep and the black child and cried out against the invading Industrial Revolution, while contemporary Romantics like Wordsworth retreated to the countryside full of daffodils or like Shelley took refuge in Italy. I gotta say though, had Keats survived TB (contracted by caring for his dying bro) he had it to transcend the category of "Romantic". Check out "Endymion" written in abstracts still, but considering the above circumstance, he writes "A thing of beauty is a joy forever…"

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