Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Song of Myself"

Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman.
I made these little paintings from photos found at, where there are dozens of photographs of this handsome poet.
For a short bio go to poetry.about or, where you can also read some of his poems.

Walt (I don't think he'd mind if I called him Walt) was born May 31, 1819 in New York.




"Song of Myself"
Walt Whitman


I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil,
this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and
their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.
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Charlene Brown said...

These are beautifully done, Laura. You make it look like you've had to capture each likeness with just a few strokes before he walks away! I also just had another look at your wonderful sky study now linked to It's really lovely.

A Brush with Color said...

These are great, Laura. I am a Whitman fan, and have seen photos of him many times--especially with the hat, I'd have known it was him! (Like you said, those hats do the trick!) I admire how you attack the same subject several times.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

These are just terrific. Love them.
Happy Birthday to Walt, who was a very handsome man, and an amazing poet.

Love your blog,


HeartFire said...

Great post and portraits of Whitman, you make it look so easy!

annie said...

Well, you sure caught him. I saw the paintings on my Reader before I read anything about him and they reminded me of Whitman. I love his poetry and your paintings really suit the poem--very open and free flowing.

Ruth said...

Ah, he looks beautiful, Laura. Very nicely done.

Happy Birthday, Walt.

Sherry Pierce Thurner said...

What a good idea to paint Whitman. I find myself coming back to his poetry over and over. You capture him at his benevolent best.

Anonymous said...

Your portraits are very good. Love the Walt Witmans. I always admire the way you repeat watercolors. I like the way you try different backgrounds and colors. It's a great way to perfect one's work.

Claudia said...

Wonderful artwork!