My dear friend Beth Philips reminded people on Facebook to-day that it was Whitman’s birthday so I posted the following:
Here are some (other) things to do on the day:
1. If you are feeling down or depressed read Whitman’s “Song of Myself” the first poem in “Leaves of Grass”.
2. Read a poem by a living American poet (maybe Danez Smith).
3. No…definately read “Dont Call Us Dead” by Danez Smith.
Try his “summer, somewhere”.
4. Consider how poetry is an archetypal form pre existing in the unconscious…give it content: write a poem.
5.If you are not sure you “get” Whitman, read C.K. Williams “On Whitman” (A present from Beth).
6. Sleep with a person of the same sex who is younger than you are…I only said “sleep” with.
7. Tell them how beautiful they are.
8. Read “Ode to Walt Whitman” by Garcia Lorca (not easy) but read it aloud with a Hispanic friend in Spanish. It is in “Poeta En Nueva York”, then tell them how beautiful it sounds (unlike American English whatever that is).
9. Celerate another Gay American poet, Robert Duncan, by reading “Duncan” by Thom Gunn, in “Boss Cupid”: a wonderful poem.
10. Read Robert Duncan’s “We Convivial In What Is Ours”: you might have to go to my blog to find that poem http://www.hugofgaia.com it is in a blog called “Duncan”.
To avoid criticism to-day does not seem to be his birthday after all: