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Reading of "Song of Myself" to Commemorate the 200th Birthday of Walt Whitman

Photo of Walt Whitman
When: Friday, May 31, 2019 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Cost: FREE ADMISSION

Poets & other citizens will gather on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 6:00 PM at the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park in Albany, NY to celebrate the birthday of the quintessential American poet, Walt Whitman, with a reading of his poem “Song of Myself”.  The event is sponsored by the Poetry Motel Foundation, Albany Public Library Foundation, and the Hudson Valley Writers Guild.

Persons interested in reading a section of Whitman’s poem can sign up to read at the event.  

The Robert Burns statue is located in Albany’s Washington Park, along the park road that parallels Willett St. & the intersection of Hudson Ave. The reading will take place rain or shine; it is suggested that the public brings chairs or blankets to sit on.  

Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819 at West Hills, NY near Huntington on Long Island.  “Song of Myself”, composed of over 1300 lines in 52 sections, first appeared in Whitman’s Leaves of Grass in 1855.  The poem went through a number of revisions & changes until the 1881 edition of Leaves of Grass.  Whitman died in 1892 in Camden, NJ.  The theme of “Song of Myself”, as indeed it is of most of Whitman’s work, is the celebration of the individual, of the nation, and of the spiritual possibility within us all.


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