So, what can I learn from Whitman? My first thoughts about this poet are the following:
- He self published
- He pretty much rejected established poetic forms in favor of free verse
These two things are a testament to Whitman's fierce independence. I think independence is something that all artists can benefit from. Striving to be independent is a way of insuring that we are he would be true to himself.
He was also a risk taker. as evidenced by his self publication.
Considering these examples I must consider if I am true to myself when I write?
Do I rake risks with my work or am I inclined to play t safe?
Perhaps it was his independent nature that kept him striving for something better. Leaves of Grass was revised many times, including on his death bed. Always looking for the right words.
Would I take something of my own and revise it if I knew I were on my death bed? Would You?