Monday, August 22, 2011

Respect for Great Authors

I have great respect for writers from every part of the world and from every historical era. The idea that you can communicate your life thoughts, your stories, your opinions and your creativity through a complex display of 26 symbols has never ceased to amaze me. Books and authors have changed my life. I have been actually transformed from reading certain authors- Ayn Rand, Jack Kerouac, Eckhart Tolle, Walt Whitman, Margaret Laurence, J.R. Tolkien, J.K.Rowling, Tony Robbins, Hale Dwoskin, Wayne Dyer, etc.

I read fiction and non-fiction, Philosophy, Psychology, Self-Help, The Classics, Poetry, Blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc. etc. etc. Most authors will tell you if you want to be a good writer become a voracious reader- READ A LOT!!!

One of the authors I find particularly interesting is Walt Whitman (May31 1819- March 26, 1892- 72 years old) . I'm just beginning to read "Leaves of Grass" an epic poem by Whitman, about his life and experiences. It is a very famous book. Whitman is considered the father of American Free Verse (poems without rhyme/rhythm).  Students in the United States all study Walt Whitman in school.

He's considered to be an Essayist, a Poet and a Journalist. Many writers began as Journalists. Most writers have to do other kinds of work until their books make a living for them. All arts are like that, so if you want to ACT, WRITE, DRAW, DANCE, etc. expect to be a waiter or waitress or Tim Hortons' Drive Thru attendant before your rise to fame.

THIS is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou
lovest best.
Night, sleep, and the stars.   (Walt Whitman)

Walt Whitman had a vagabond lifestyle much like the Beat poets (Jack Kerouac (1950's). Whitman is claimed to be America's first "Poet of Democracy". "You can't really understand America wihtout Walt Whitman..." (Mary Costelloe)

Song of Myself
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. 

This is the first stanza of the first section "Song of Myself" from the poem "Leaves of Grass" 
What do these lines mean? Why begin his poem with them? Why do I use them in my subtitle?

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