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Question 8:

Is Walt Whitman still relevant today? Why? Trace his influences.

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Nor Aziati Bt Anuar (0628636)

Siti Amirah Ahmad Tarmizi (0628070)

Raja Noraidlin Sueraya (0624762) Nuruljannah Hj Usop (0628396) Mira Hazreen Mohamedon (0629276) Siti Zubaidah bt Ismail (0625356)




Celebrates Nature Equality Unity Whitman’s Ideology Democracy Individualism Unconventional
Celebrates Nature Equality Unity Whitman’s Ideology Democracy Individualism Unconventional


Celebrates Nature Equality Unity Whitman’s Ideology Democracy Individualism Unconventional



Celebrates Nature Equality Unity Whitman’s Ideology Democracy Individualism Unconventional


Celebrates Nature Equality Unity Whitman’s Ideology Democracy Individualism Unconventional
Celebrates Nature Equality Unity Whitman’s Ideology Democracy Individualism Unconventional



Literary Figures


  • According to Trachtenberg (n.d.), “William Carlos Williams- when he entered the University of Pennsylvania in 1902 he brought Leaves of Grass with him, “absorbed it with enthusiasm,” and kept a Whitmanian notebook in which he jotted down “quick spontaneous poems”.(p.197)

  • Williams considered this notebook as a secret

notebook, “What the secret notebooks represented, William’s desire to write a poetry

that was simple, direct and passional,

eventually prevailed and guided Williams to

the discovery or invention of his own voice”.


Among his poems-

  • As the cat (12 lines)

  • Play (3 lines)



Subtle, clever brain, wiser than I am,

by what devious means do you contrive to remain idle? Teach me, O master

2. Ezra Pound

  • He gives credit to Whitman for opening up new

possibilities for the use of poetic language.

  • Ezra Pound was impressed by the way Whitman proposed the language of poetry.

    • He abandoned the traditional forms of poetry

and wrote in free verse.

  • His lines don't rhyme, they have no consistent

meter, and they're not even close to the same length.

  • Very much influenced by Whitman;

    • What I Feel About Walt Whitman (1909)

    • A Pact (1915)

      • One of Pound’s work that is believed to be influenced by Whitman is an epic poem The Cantos.

      • This poem is a document of the rise, reign,

and fall of a literary style, a generation of

artists, and a way of life.

The Cantos by Ezra Pound

AND then went down to the ship,

Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and We set up mast and sail on that swart ship,

Bore sheep aboard her, and our bodies also

Heavy with weeping, and winds from sternward Bore us out onward with bellying canvas, Circe's this craft, the trim-coifed goddess.

Then sat we amidships, wind jamming the tiller, Thus with stretched sail, we went over sea till day's end. Sun to his slumber, shadows o'er all the ocean, Came we then to the bounds of deepest water, To the Kimmerian lands, and peopled cities Covered with close-webbed mist, unpierced ever

With glitter of sun-rays

Nor with stars stretched, nor looking back from heaven Swartest night stretched over wretched men there.

3. Martin Espada

  • He is a 2005 award-winning poet.

  • One of today’s poets that belong to Whitmanic tradition.

  • He views Whitman as the founder of

American poetry.

  • He claims that Whitman is different from other poets.

Whitman is saying what he’s saying, that he means what he means.

"Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100" by Martín Espada

Alabanza. Praise the cook with a shaven head and a tattoo on his shoulder that said Oye, a blue eyed Puerto Rican with people from Fajardo, the harbor of pirates centuries ago. Praise the lighthouse in Fajardo, candle glimmering white to worship the dark saint of the sea. Alabanza. Praise the cook’s yellow Pirates cap worn in the name of Roberto Clemente, his plane that flamed into the ocean loaded with cans for Nicaragua, for all the mouths chewing the ash of earthquakes. Alabanza. Praise the kitchen radio, dial clicked even before the dial on the oven, so that music and Spanish rose before bread. Praise the bread. Alabanza.

Political Leaders

1. Barack Obama


  • Democracy is a political government either carried out directly by the people (direct

democracy) or by means of elected

representatives of the people (Representative democracy).

  • There are two principles of democracy:

equality and freedom.

An excerpt of Obama’s speech

  • “There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to

you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to

join in the work of remaking this nation…”

  • “In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people…”

  • “ tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: Democracy, Iiberty, opportunity and unyielding hope…”


  • Freedom for people to choose their life partner and ways of life: Homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual.






promotes same-sex

marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe

when gay partners want to visit each other in the hospital, the state should say “you know what, that’s

all right”,


don’t think in



inhibits my core

beliefs about what marriage is. My faith is strong enough and my marriage is strong enough that I can afford to give those civil rights to others, even if I have a different perspective or a different view”.

(Reader’s digest, February 2009)

From the White House Web site:

President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also

believes we need to repeal the Defense of

Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the federal legal rights and benefits

currently provided on the basis of marital status

are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights

and benefits include the right to assist a loved

one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

2. Dato' Seri Najib bin Tun Razak


  • The concept of 1Malaysia proposed by Malaysian

Prime Minister Dato' Seri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak.

  • It has the similar concept with Whitman’s poem

which is the sense of unity.

  • In Whitman’s poem, he praised the individual as

he imagined a democratic nation as a unified whole composed of unique but equal individuals.

  • 1Malaysia is a concept to foster unity and underlines the value of "Acceptance" amongst its multi-racial people, where one race embraces the uniqueness of other races so that we may live with mutual respect for each other as a nation.

  • Voices from other races are not left out and they still receive the same justice and welfare.

  • Malaysians will be looked after, leaving no one behind despite from the different ethnicity.


American Movies

e.g. Wall-E and I Now Pronounce You,

Chuck and Larry

Allahyarham Yasmine Ahmad


“Wall - E”

“I Now Pronounce You, Chuck and


“I Now Pronounce You, Chuck and Larry”

Allahyarham Yasmine Ahmad

Anak muda sekarang dituduh tidak menghargai

perjuangan1957, saya fikir ini bagus. Cukuplah generasi tua saja yang

merasakan kesengsaraan

masa itu. Mengapa

generasi muda dipaksa merasakanya juga?” (Teroris Bahasa, Saharil

Hasrin Sanin, )

Allahyarham Yasmine Ahmad “ Anak muda sekarang dituduh tidak menghargai perjuangan1957, saya fikir ini bagus. Cukuplah


  • Democracy

    • SRC - Voting rights

      • Freedom and Individuality

Choices in determining your own study plan

-Which lecturer -Which subject -What time

  • Unity All foreign and local students live in peace


Cargill, O. (1941). Intellectual America: Ideas on the March. London: Macmillan & Co.

Miller, P. (1957). The American transcendentalists, their prose and poetry. New York: Doubleday Anchor Books.

Saharil Hasrin Sanin (2008). Teroris bahasa. Kuala Lumpur:

Matahari Books.

Trachtenberg,A.(n.d.). Walt Whitman:

Precipitant of the

Modern. In Greenspan,E(Ed.), The Cambridge companion to Whitman (p.197). Cambridge: Press Syndicate of the

University of Cambridge.

Warren, R. (2009, February). President Obama on good and

evil and a better world. Reports on Reader’s Digest

Magazine, pp 38-44.

Ezra Pound. (1998). Retrieved March 2, 2010, from

Retrieved, March 1, 2010, from Retrieved, March 1, 2010, from

&option=com_content&format=pdf&lang=en Retrieved March 3, 2010, from Retrieved, March 1, 2010, from