A Plurality of One: The Song of Walt Whitman
About A Plurality of One: The Song of Walt Whitman
In spectral form, Whitman arrives at a contemporary author event to discuss the meaning, influence, and enduring appeal of “Song of Myself,” the central poem in "Leaves of Grass," where Whitman took America’s founding documents and added feeling, creating an expression of native soul as inclusive, expansive, and irreducible as the country itself, a boundless identity that would incorporate and liberate generations of readers.
Not content to merely offer “the whys and what-fors,” Whitman (played by Stanley Spenger) puts the poem, literally, in the mouths of all present, making the audience as much a part of the drama as the poet himself.
A soundscape by Justin J. Jones, weaving street noise with gently heaving symphonics, underscores the recitation, recasting the poem as a chorale for mixed voice — an experiment in democracy that fully succeeds.
Written and staged by Joe Christiano, this is a special presentation by Ubuntu Theater Project of the National Delivery Production.