Sunday, June 03, 2007

Patter About Poets

So I'm to understand from today's park meeting with Mitch that Emerson had no problem with all the sex in Whitman's poetry, but maybe from a coaching angle encouraged him to throttle back.

Plus T.S. Eliot was of course quite a bit later on the time line and in a very different social situation, must have disdained Whitman's work for being unschooled. "Poetry is not mere metered exuberance" -- but nor is Walt's.

The proof of transcendentalism is in its pudding. We eat our own dog food as some geeks like to say.

These remarks are with reference to this excerpt from my Connecting the Dots:

Emerson liked Walt Whitman a lot but thought there was too much sex in his poetry. Whitman refused to back off -- much to the disgust of T.S. Elliot -- probably with his future HBO-minded American audience in mind (i.e. he was prescient).[i]

Fuller of Harvard comes later in the game, dubbed “World Game” by him, with “Guinea Pig B” a star player. Fuller, an inventor, invented his own namespace fairly completely, after taking time off post 1927 to thoroughly divest himself of any unwanted “reflex conditioning,” and laying the groundwork for some life-long self-disciplines, somewhat described in his penultimate non-posthumously published magnum opus Critical Path.[ii]

[i] Per my conversation with Johnny Stallings, actor, at Common Ground on Hawthorne

[ii] my biography of the guy is available here:

So I probably need to study the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg to better understand cultural currents linking the 1840s and the 1960s. Could be some fun airplane reading.