What can I say? Whitman set out to create an American bible and in my estimation he succeeded. These poems are simply gorgeous, powerful texts filled...moreWhat can I say? Whitman set out to create an American bible and in my estimation he succeeded. These poems are simply gorgeous, powerful texts filled with imagery.
Maybe one day I'll come back and give a more detailed analysis but right now I can only offer a selection of what I consider to be his most beautiful poems.
EIDÓLONS BEGINNING MY STUDIES. WHEN I READ THE BOOK. AS I PONDER'D IN SILENCE. TO A CERTAIN CANTATRICE. ME IMPERTURBE. AH POVERTIES, WINCINGS, AND SULKY RETREATS. A CLEAR MIDNIGHT. AS THE TIME DRAWS NIGH. ASHES OF SOLDIERS. SONG AT SUNSET. AS AT THY PORTALS ALSO DEATH. PENSIVE ON HER DEAD GAZING. PORTALS. SO LONG! TO THOSE WHO'VE FAIL'D. THE BRAVEST SOLDIERS. AS I SIT WRITING HERE. MY CANARY BIRD. QUERIES TO MY SEVENTIETH YEAR. MEMORIES. TO-DAY AND THEE. AFTER THE DAZZLE OF DAY. HALCYON DAYS. HAD I THE CHOICE. LAST OF EBB, AND DAYLIGHT WANING. BY THAT LONG SCAN OF WAVES. THEN LAST OF ALL. WASHINGTON'S MONUMENT, FEBRUARY, 1885. OF THAT BLITHE THROAT OF THINE. CONTINUITIES. LIFE. "GOING SOMEWHERE." TRUE CONQUERORS. THE CALMING THOUGHT OF ALL. THANKS IN OLD AGE. LIFE AND DEATH. THE VOICE OF THE RAIN. SOON SHALL THE WINTER'S FOIL BE HERE. STRONGER LESSONS. A PRAIRIE SUNSET. ORANGE BUDS BY MAIL FROM FLORIDA. TWILIGHT. YOU LINGERING SPARSE LEAVES OF ME. NOW PRECEDENT SONGS, FAREWELL. AN EVENING LULL. AFTER THE SUPPER AND TALK. DEATH OF GENERAL GRANT. LINGERING LAST DROPS. GOOD-BYE MY FANCY. MY 71ST YEAR. APPARITIONS THE PALLID WREATH. AN ENDED DAY. SHAKSPERE-BACON'S CIPHER LONG, LONG HENCE. TO THE SUN-SET BREEZE. OLD CHANTS. A TWILIGHT SONG. A VOICE FROM DEATH. THE COMMONPLACE. L. OF G.'S PURPORT. THE UNEXPRESS'D. GRAND IS THE SEEN. GOOD-BYE MY FANCY! (less)
Throughout the first half of this book I was giving it two stars in my head. My definition of a two star book being a book that was good enough to rea...moreThroughout the first half of this book I was giving it two stars in my head. My definition of a two star book being a book that was good enough to read all the way through, but nothing outstanding. This was exactly what The Corrections was, the characters seemed pretty dull and unlikable but Franzen's obvious command of language (and the fact that I never think unlikable characters is necessarily a good reason to dislike a story) to kept me going. And I'm glad I did.
It's the last few chapters where the storylines converge and the corrections take place that elevate this story. The "unlikable" characters come to terms with the reality that they have in different ways been avoiding. The ending collision of fantasy and reality makes this story valuable and teaches us some important lessons about hope.(less)
I've heard good things about this book, and I wanted to like it, but it never seemed to hook me. Maybe it had been overhyped to me or maybe it is beca...moreI've heard good things about this book, and I wanted to like it, but it never seemed to hook me. Maybe it had been overhyped to me or maybe it is because I have yet to read any of Murakami's other works but nothing really jumped out at me when I read it.(less)