Hello friends and writers!
Just this past week, I indulged myself in Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I began this book some years ago (early college) and have made it a goal to complete the book (at last) by the end of 2015. The book taps out at just over 600 pages (at least my copy does, remember how many times Whitman edited this book? shew!) and it's giving me a run for my money.
I'm actually enjoying his poetry more than I thought I would. I find myself nodding my head, smiling at the way Whitman viewed the world so lovingly and with such open acceptance. I suppose psychologists these days would say that he wrote for the collective conscious of society. However, from his point of view I think he was just very in-tuned, very accepting and open. He mentioned in one poem how his bare feet sort of kissed the earth as he walked along the shore. So far (I'm just over 100 pages), he appears to be a real liberal, a lover of all life forms and all people. There's something to be admired about that!
Anyway, this week I thought it would be fun to write like Whitman...or at least write with some of his words and ideas. So here goes!
Part 1: Choose Your Topic
In Leaves of Grass, scholars have noted certain topics that Whitman really enjoyed writing about. His most common thematic approaches were:
1) The Self
2) The Body and the Soul
5) Cosmic Consciousness
Pick one topic that you would enjoy exploring with your poetry. Maybe two, if you feel they'd go together well.
Part 2: Create Your Word List
Below I have selected a huge list of words from Leaves of Grass. I tried to find the more interesting words that would tie in well with each of the chosen themes.
moonsails swift carols immortal
mason continental carpenter brood
native chants pavements savanna
stars plains rain snow
hermit divine soil globe
arts faces retrospective pulses
fire ceaseless ever-tending visible
mistress soul glittering war-like
contemporary city geography companionship
religion descend arena divine
pensive silent germs excess
streams ocean democracy prophetic
shifting flickering release demand
winded twisted kiss reckless
composite occult echoes clandestine
illustrious thread miracles profound
superb death endless sierra
plateau hemp shores traveler
primal vista fence backwoods
Pick 10-15 words for your wordlist/wordle. Try choosing words that you feel would easily allow you to write about the theme you chose from Step 1. Likewise, if you want to make the exercise more challenging, try selecting words at random.
Once you have your topic and your word list, it's time to write with Whitman!
Hope you enjoy writing with the words of Whitman this week. Grace us with your company and link up, or save the prompt for a rainy day!