Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Walt Whitman and the American Experience

Last night PBS ran a program on The American Experience: Walt Whitman, about the gifted, foolhardy, relentlessly compassionate and sensual author of Leaves of Grass.I've never seen him so well captured as he was in this seemingly brief two hours. Written and directed by Mark Zwonitzer, the film blended images from Whitman's time with those of our own. I was particularly touched by the deceptively quiet yet dramatic rendering of several excerpts from the poet's own words. In sequences focusing on the Civil War years, we are drawn into the world that preoccupied the writer when Whitman worked at the Interior Dept. in Washington, D.C. during the day and visited with the wounded in the hospitals that ringed the city at night.


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