Monday, January 27, 2014

Uncle Walt Rides Again!

Have you seen the new commercials playing on our magic boxes featuring the words of Uncle Walt? My heart skips a beat every time they come on. I have heard people say that while Whitman may have been something in his day, he has since become some sort of the mediocre safe cliche poetry sort, and to be  used in commercials, I mean, whatever, sellout.  Oh, these silly folk that think that everything has to be new and shiny and edgy to mean anything. And c'mon hipsters, he did have one of the best beards in literature:
Engraving of Walt Whitman by George C Cox. Image: Bettmann/Corbis
Walt Whitman will always be something.  Always.  And so will the words he life behind, whether you find them on dog eared paperback pages or on a touch screen. Think of them, and most of poetry, as little cheat sheets to all of life's hardest questions. 

The voice over in the commercial is not only Whitman's poem, O Me! O Life! from Leaves of Grass, but it is also a scene from the movie, Dead Poet's Society. Add that to fact that there is a now a peanut butter that already has the chocolate chips mixed in, and I do believe that the world now revolves around me.*

*Dead's Poet's Society is one of my favorite movies, in fact ,I am quite obnixious about it. If you don't like it, sorry, I don't think we can be friends. I have also been know to dump a handful of chocolate chips into a jar of peanut butter and call it dinner. I am a complicated soul, or at least tell myself that as I eat peanut butter out of jar. 


  1. Yes, yes, YES! This is why we are friends. In fact, waaaay back in high school I wrote my final AP English paper about Uncle Walt's poetry, specifically meaning and symbolism between brotherly love. Since then I've always felt a bond to this fellow traveler.

    Now I'm aching to watch Dead Poet's Society!

  2. And a completely non-poetic response...I just love his face! Seriously. His eyes are so kind and deep, like he would look into your soul and love whatever he found there. And you can tell that those lines around them come from a constant smile. He's most definitely the kind of person you would be lucky to be friends with. (And okay, he writes a pretty mean line, too!)