Ok. So here’s my disclaimer: I cheated. (technically)
This was supposed to be a video of me reading. I’m in the video, but only my feet can be seen. My excuse is two-fold. 1. Whitman told us (via his epitaph) to look for him under our bootsoles. I looked under my moccasins. 2. The old saying that some people come into our lives and leave footprints and we are never ever the same. I think my influence on my students is not my face – but the learning I (hopefully) inspire – about life more than English. Thus, when all is said and done, my footprints have far more impact than the rest of me – that will change, the influence will last forever.
I cheated one more time. This video was supposed to be in Camden. This video was filmed in my classroom at Timber Creek High School in Erial, NJ. My excuse, again, is two-fold. 1. Whitman didn’t stay in Camden either in his later life. He traveled to many places in NJ – one of which was Timber Creek (the actual creek…but still!). 2. This poem for me had to be in a classroom. When I think about “The Unexpress’d”, I think about my students and the potential they hold to change the world, be the next Whitman, and begin to express themselves – and expression that remains unexpress’d until they send it into the world.
Full text of the poem in Whitman’s own writing: (from whitmanarchive)
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