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unidentifiedflyingobject's picture

Week 8

I noticed rmetha's comment above regarding how she feels "abstractly impaired" when she looks at abstract art. I suppose I feel that way too, but simultaneously, I would like to say to her: you are not abstractly impaired! I don't think there's anything wrong in not having any taste for abstract art. I'm a person who is deeply logical and prefers things with structure, and you might be too. If you don't see anything in abstract art then there just isn't anything there for you.

That said, I also generally feel the same way about unstructured poetry. I wouldn't go as far as that phrase by Robert Frost about free verse being like tennis without the net, but generally speaking, I don't think I can draw much from free verse poetry. However, there is something intriguing about Walt Whitman. Most of his phrases strike me as lacking in flow almost to a fault, but when his phrases do have flow, such as in the first three lines of Leaves of Grass, he is superb.

Furthermore, there is something beguilingly modern about Whitman. Nothing about his imagery suggests "mid nineteenth century" to me. In fact, when I was reading the first page and the line "The delight alone or in the rush of the streets" the image that came to my mind was that of modern New York city traffic. I didn't even remember that Walt Whitman didn't know what cars were until several pages later. What strikes me as most interesting about Whitman is his freshness, his modernity.


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