“Walt Whitman’s Lincoln” May 12 at Carl Sandburg Home
“Walt Whitman’s Lincoln,” an afternoon of Whitman’s memories of the Civil War and our 16th President, will be presented by storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis on Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m. at the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site, 313 E. Third Street,Galesburg. The Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association’s spring lecture series is open to the public.
Lincoln was a fan of Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” and read excerpts to clients in his Springfield law office. Whitman’s most famous poem, “Oh Captain, My Captain,” was written as a eulogy for the martyred Lincoln, and after Lincoln’s assassination Whitman gave regular lectures on Lincoln to rave reviews.
Ellis will recreate a program Whitman delivered on the life of Lincoln woven with his Civil War poems and recollections of their misty morning encounter during the war. Ellis embodies the vitality of Whitman to offer an intimate view of Lincoln along with the triumphs and the tragedies of the Civil War. Through stories and poetry the audience will be immersed in this turning point in America’s history through the eyewitness account of this brilliant poet and journalist. Ellis, also a published poet and freelance journalist, has researched this program with consultation from several Whitman scholars. He has worked extensively with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, the Looking for Lincoln Tourism Board, and once spent a week in New York City walking in the footsteps of the Good Grey Beard Poet reciting poetry in the places where it was written.
The Carl Sandburg State Historic Site is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.