The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

April 15, 2008

Wanted: National Poet

Waltwhitman Another set your Tivo alert--PBS aired an hour-long special on Walt Whitman last night, and it looks crazy good. Be sure to keep an eye out for the interview with one of FSG's own, Yusef Komunyakaa.

One of my favorite things about Whitman is the way he seems uniquely American, so this quotation from Allan Gurganus really caught my eye:

"I think Walt Whitman went to the help wanted section and found a squib that said Wanted: National Poet. And he was innocent enough to believe there really was such a job. And he was innocent enough to believe that if he could just write a poem that incorporated everything he felt and suspected and hoped for from America, that he would have the position. And you know, by God, he did it."

They've also got a great interactive map of Whitman's New York up at their website, which you know I am all about. And if you're not so hot with programming a Tivo, you can also stream the whole program from the site.


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