Let who may exalt, or startle, or fascinate, or sooth, I will have purposes as health, or heat, or snow, has, and be as regardless of observation. You can find a free etext at Gutenberg. Commentary, opinions, and reactions to all comment posts are welcome. The Wound Dresser is a collection letters and columns written by Whitman during the time he spent nursing the sick, wounded and dying at the numerous Army hospitals in and around the Washington D. George Whitman was a captain in the 51st New York Infantry and during that battle, was wounded in the face by a shell fragment. During my research, I found that Whitman arrived in Washington D. His health compromised by the experience, he was given work at the Treasury Department in Washington, D.
So why should you read this book. The most important support provided by Whitman was sitting with wound and sick soldiers and providing comfort and support. From the stump of the arm, the amputated hand, I undo the clotted lint, remove the slough, wash off the matter and blood, Back on his pillow the soldier bends with curvd neck and side-falling head, His eyes are closed, his face is pale, he dares not look on the bloody stump, And has not yet lookd on it. The clotted lint- accounts of maggots filling wounds, really, the smell, gangrene, cavernous wounds, horribly festering flesh- death. Whitman's futile search in Washington, eventually led him to his brother's regiment in the field and a reunion with George at Falmouth, Virginia. Interesting to get a view of the civil war from the grittiness of the hospital tents, and some of the historical elements were eye-opening. Surreal new electronically synthesized sounds blend with the traditional orchestra.
This was his indoctrination to the ghastly consequences of warfare. He kept watch over the dying. Any opinions expressed at The Listeners' Club, except as specifically noted, are those of the author. Yet, the attention to detail, the depiction of images, etc. Whitman developed close personal relationships with many of the men he tended to in army hospitals. But there are also brief moments of intense, soaring emotional release. Whitman remarks upon judgments that others make and refutes them with his own ideas of impartiality.
The book centers around the time when Whitman traveled to Washington D. This not to be confused with his poem, The Wound Dresser which is part of his poetry book, Drum Taps, rather is a book that looks back at his services to the sick and wounded during the Civil War. The Wound Dresser is as far afield of the poetry as one could imagine. When the Civil War broke out in 1861 Whitman was in his early forties and not in a position to join the fighting forces. The poem is remarkable for its lack of exaggerated portrayals of pain and suffering. Leaves of Grass was published in nine editions, with Whitman elaborating on it in each successive edition. I onward go, I stop, With hinged knees and steady hand to dress wounds, I am firm with each, the pangs are sharp yet unavoidable, One turns to me his appealing eyespoor boy! He has a lot to say.
The two weeks that Whitman spent in the field with the sick and the dying so moved him that it started a mission that lasted 3 years. You shall stand by my side, and look in the mirror with me. Eventually, Whitman published his works himself. Although most hospital fatalities, as Whitman observed in Memoranda During the War, resulted from diarrhea, fevers, and pulmonary infections, the poem's wounded more poignantly represent the agonies of the armies and the wounded American nation. It's baffling, why nursing accounts are not more read, discussed and well, ' popular '? Since Private Derr did not write his letters in a consistent pattern. What stays with you latest and deepest? In 1881, the book had the compliment of being banned by the commonwealth of Massachusetts on charges of immorality.
His time in the Union hospitals between 1862 and 1865 influenced him and changed the tone and color of his poetry. Here is a performance by the Orchestra of St. The poet Walt Whitman 1819-1892 forces us to confront the human cost of war. I dress a wound in the side, deep, deep; But a day or two more—for see, the frame all wasted already, and sinking, And the yellow-blue countenance see. Walt Whitman and the Body Beautiful. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.
He was subsequently furloed home for further recuperation. This book is a far cry from Leaves of Grass but nevertheless well worth the time and effort to read it. A lesson to us all in how to be good human beings. What comes through in these letters is the compassion Walt Whitman had for the Civil War wounded that he visited in the hospitals. The Lunar Light of Whitman's Poetry.
It creates a sort of hopeless tone, as we wait for both the passage of history and of the verse. But enter the dazed world of The Wound-Dresser and other war poems by Whitman, and you begin to get a sense of the wasteland of the battlefield. The Wound Dresser is a window into the thoughts, and emotions of one of the country's greatest poets. Fortunately, George's wounds were minor and Whitman was able to report home to his mother the good news. This is a fairly romantic take on things. He saw the tragedy of so many young American men being slaughtered in a senseless war against each other and was driven by this to offer his services as a carer around the hospitals treating them.
These firsthand accounts allow the modern reader to more fully understand the culture of both the Union and Confederacy, the politics that governed the escalation and end of the war, the personal experience of life during the Civil War, and the most difficult and polarizing question in the history of the United States: slavery. In December 1862 Whitman saw the name of his brother George 1892-1901 , a member of the 51st New York Infantry, listed among the wounded at Fredericksburg. He was paroled by the Confederates, and was transported to Georgetown College Hospital in Washington, D. Kind Regards Jim Clark All rights are reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2012. Bull Run was the bloodiest battle in American history up to that point.
Instead, it is circular, always beginning or an enriched return to a universal life-force. The 'Wound-Dresser' opens with excited children asking an old veteran to 'come tell us old man' about his war experiences. Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War in addition to publishing his poetry. What stays with you latest and deepest? From the stump of the arm, the amputated hand, I undo the clotted lint, remove the slough, wash off the matter and blood, Back on his pillow the soldier bends with curv'd neck and side-falling head, His eyes are closed, his face is pale, he dares not look on the bloody stump, And has not yet look'd on it. The poem's persona is a stoical remembrancer committed to performing his nation's grief work; in his consciousness as in the poet's a tragic past is projected as a dream-like continuous present. Thanks as always for sharing.