#PoetryMonth – Story Time Friday with Walt Whitman

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I’ve asked my friend Walt Whitman onto the blog today to help finish off Poetry Month.

…ok, I’m not friends with Whitman. And no, I didn’t ask him to be on the blog. But maybe he would like to be on the blog if he were still alive today. Who knows. Either way, this is the last Story Time Friday for the 2016 National Poetry Month celebration here on A Life Among the Pages. I wanted to wind things down with a poem I’ve been holding onto since March when I read it at our open mic night here in Colorado. I debated starting the month off with the poem instead, but it felt better to hold off. It’s a good send-off poem and hopefully inspiration for people who’ve newly discovered the craft to work at it and come back for 2017’s Poetry Month.

There’s a lot to take in from this poem, as with all of Whitman’s work. I hope you read it over a few times, at the very least. If you’d like to start a discussion in the comments about it, that’d be great too. It’s fun to talk about Whitman.

And if this wasn’t enough of “the father of modern poetry” (as some call him) for you, you’ll find a link below to download his entire collection, Leaves of Grass, from Project Gutenberg. It’s along read, but it’s worth it, even if only in small chunks here and there.

Thanks for sticking with me for 29 days so far! It’s been a long but rewarding journey. Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow, too. It’s the last day of Poetry Month and you don’t want to miss it!
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Poets to Come

by Walt Whitman

Poets to come! orators, singers, musicians to come!
Not to-day is to justify me, and answer what I am for;
But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than before known,
Arouse! Arouse—for you must justify me—you must answer.

I myself but write one or two indicative words for the future,
I but advance a moment, only to wheel and hurry back in the darkness.

I am a man who, sauntering along, without fully stopping, turns a casual look upon you, and then averts his face,
Leaving it to you to prove and define it,
Expecting the main things from you.

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Download Leaves of Grass from Project Gutenberg

#PoetryMonth – A #Spotify Poetry Playlist

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I wanted to give you all a gift that’ll keep on giving, especially if you get involved! Yesterday’s Poetry Month post was S.M. Boyce reading her poem A Life For Sale. And you know I’m a fan of listening to poetry, if you read that post.

Because I enjoy listening to poetry, and because I enjoy using Spotify, I decided awhile back to combine the two. I created a playlist on Spotify to bring together all the great poetry I could find. And surprisingly I found SO MUCH poetry.

That’s what I want to share with you today. My poetry playlist. Currently there are 384 “songs”, or just under 21 hrs of poetry to listen to. It includes modern poets like Andrea Gibson, Buddy Wakefield, and Shane Koyczan. I also have poets from the early days of recording like Yeats, Frost, and many more than I thought had recordings. Not all poems are read by the poet (especially the Shakespeare I think I put on there, duh).

I’d like to have this playlist grow so we can all discover more poets. I’m sure there are others out there I haven’t gotten to yet. Please feel free to add them! I made the list where anyone can add to it. At least I think so. I had some trouble getting things to work over there and on this post. Let me know if that doesn’t work.

Hope you enjoy. And keep reading, listening, and discovering!

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About the Author:

I’m the author. If you got this far through the post and didn’t know that, now you do. If you need to know more…you can find it all on the blog already.

Find out more:

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#Books of #America

Today is the day we celebrate the United States of America’s independence from England. As we know, we signed the Declara…

Ok, enough with the history lesson. Most of you know the whole story anyway. This is a book blog. Not necessarily a blog for educating people. Though, I think I’ll do a little education today through the use of books. I went through about a third of my collection this morning and picked out a variety of American book. Most are pretty well-known, but a few might be knew to you.

Well, here it is: My attempt at being patriotic.

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We’re still a relatively young country, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have enough history to have ghosts coast to coast.

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Here are some American authors who were very in touch with nature and liked writing about it.

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And it’s not just the men who enjoy writing about nature…

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Susan Fenimore Cooper, daughter of James, did too. And according to the back of my copy of Rural Hours, she was the first American woman to publish nature writing.

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We’re also fond of short stories. Here’s a book (one of a few I own) devoted to American short stories.

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And here are some well-respected American short story writers.

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To quote a famous someone (who you’ll meet soon): “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!” That’s right. Whether exaggerated a bit or not, books can make (and change, sadly) history.

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And if you want to know about the man who said those words, Carl Sandburg wrote just a little about him. The man was Abraham Lincoln. You know, the guy on the penny and five dollar bill.

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But famous poet Carl Sandburg may have forgotten some of Lincoln’s grand history. So Seth Grahame-Smith made sure we all knew about his Vampire Hunting days.

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While this is just a (very) small selection of black American authors, there is a vast amount out there to read. Here are some of the more influential titles in my collection. But I’ll admit, it needs to become a bigger part of my collection.

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America may seem to be at war with someone all the time, but not all of use enjoy it. Many books have been written about war throughout all of history. American authors aren’t immune to writing about it, either.

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There was also a time when we regularly sent people into space. Sadly, it didn’t always go that well.

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There are many writers who have take up entire shelves, or more, in the library. One of those authors is John Steinbeck. Here are just ten of the books I own. I have some more in hardcover that I didn’t dig out.

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Many things have gone wrong in this country over the years, just like in any other country. What I dug out for this picture is a few books in which things go very bad for us.

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And not all Americans are perfect (that’s putting it lightly).

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But an American childhood can be pretty good at times.

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Just ask Hemingway. Even though he spent a good amount of his life in other countries, Papa has a soft spot for America. Especially in his Nick Adams stories.

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Don’t forget about our poets. Here are just a few from various periods in American poetry.

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Whatever you read today, if you make it from America, you have so much to choose from. From the American literary cannon to some of the more non-required readings.