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Friday, March 15, 2013

Foto Friday: Walt Whitman

There's something about a Walt Whitman portrait. Check out the one in the 1855 edition  of Leaves of Grass: it was a challenge to all comers. Hat cocked, hand on hip, no jacket (to say nothing of the unbuttoned shirt!), this dude was daring anyone not to like his new brand of verse. 

The above portrait of a more stately (and hirsute) Whitman is no small stuff, either. He looks just as defiant as ever, one eyebrow cocked and hair barely tamed. Perhaps weathered by revising Leaves countless times and becoming the most important poet in American history, he was still staring down challengers. Looks like the same shirt he was rocking in 1855, too.

We bring you this portrait today because BAM's Crossing Brooklyn Ferry music festival, named after a poem in Leaves of Grass, has made such good use of this photo in their logo for the three-day music and film festival curated by Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner of The National. Even without those defiant eyes, Whitman is still unmistakable when transformed from a literary icon to a graphic one.

What do you think of the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry logo? Have you checked out our handy reading list?

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