Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ON WALKING, OTHER WALK POEMS & POETS


Here are a few additional resources for meditations on walking. You can find most of these online or in Temple's library.

On walking:
Henry David Thoreau, "Walking"

Michel de Certeau, "Walking in the City"
Virginia Woolf, "Street Haunting"

Additional walk poems and variations (ride poems?) off the top of my head:
Homer's Odyssey, Dante's Divine Comedy, Walt Whitman's "Song of the Open Road," Alice Notley's Descent of Alette, Frank O'Hara's "The Day Lady Died," Allen Ginsberg's "Wichita Vortex Sutra"

So many other great walking poets (Wordsworth, Coleridge, Whitman, Baudelaire, Blackburn, Snyder, et al.) And then there are poets who love/loved to walk, but you wouldn't necessarily know it from the poetry. Charles Reznikoff was a great walker, which appears in some of his poetry, but he's just as often "walking" through historical texts.

And where are the walking female poets? There's something bourgeois about the walking poet, even decadent (the flaneur), or at least there's that tradition of walking (walking tour) that requires leisure time, which historically tended to be the property of wealthy white men. Is walking now associated with the poor? Or only walking (not walking-as-art)? We'll talk about these and other issues as we look at walk poems in class.

Feel free to add to these lists.

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