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Belfast Senior College

Walt Whitman: Time of war, Times of peace

with John McClenahen


In the concluding lines of Specimen Days, an eclectic prose collection of notes and memoranda and descriptions of life and death, war and division, democracy and unity, American poet Walt Whitman writes, "Perhaps . . . the efforts of true poets, founders, religions, literature, all ages, have been and will ever be . . . to bring people back from their persistent strayings and sickly abstractions, to the countless average, divine, and original concrete." Drawing selectively from Specimen Days, Leaves of Grass, and Whitman's correspondence, this seminar course will consider Walt Whitman's Civil War ministrations to the wounded, sick and dying; his lifelong community with nature; his celebrations of body and soul; and his notions of democracy.


Walt Whitman, Specimen Days & Collect, Dover Edition

Walt Whitman, Selected Poems, Dover Thrift Editions

Excerpts from Whitman's correspondence will be distributed during the course.

A resident of Swanville, Maine, John S. McClenahen is a writer, photographer, and college teacher who has university degrees in English, government, history, and philosophy. A retired broadcast and print media professional, he is the author of five books of poetry and more than a dozen collections of photographs. During Easter Term 1986, he was a Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge.

Note: This course will simultaneously be conducted in-person and online remotely via Zoom. Also, no class Oct 6th.

  • Sep 15 - Oct 27th, 2022
    Thu from 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Hutchinson Center


University of Maine Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave
Belfast, ME 04915 Get directions

Room: 129

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