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Whitman: “I Contain Multitudes.”

May 2, 2018

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself;
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

From “Song of Myself” in Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass
May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892

To be a writer is to be very large with words.

Because words are how writers make


Words provide our shift key.

Maxine Hong Kingston told Bill Moyers “We change the world word by word.”

That’s how we make things BE.

What are some of the words you’re changing the world with?

Share them below along with the source of the word. Link to your blog!

For example,

Anthropocene: relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment (Gyre: Longobardi 172).

NOTE: All images from various years at Burning Man; founder Larry Harvey died a few days ago. You can read my tribute to Larry here.


10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2018 1:20 pm

    Empirical – Based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or logic. From Amy Tan, “Mothers Tongue” page 364

    Euphemism – a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing. From Mike Rose “I Just Want to be Average” page 314

  2. choslett permalink
    May 2, 2018 1:54 pm

    Discrimination- the unjust or prejudicial treatment of those of different gender, race or age
    Brent Staples, Just Walk On By, Black Men and Public Space
    Education- applying knowledge to a person at elevating levels.
    Seth Godin, Stop Stealing Dreams
    – chelsey

  3. Jenna permalink
    May 2, 2018 4:29 pm

    Exhortations- an address or communication emphatically urging someone to do something. (Adichie, Chimamanda) “To My One Love”

    Diptych- a painting, especially an altarpiece, on two hinged wooden panels that may be closed like a book. (Adichie, Chimamanda) “To My One Love”

  4. May 2, 2018 4:53 pm

    Ethnocentrism- the tyranny of Western aesthetics
    “The path of the red and black ink” – Anzaldua, Gloria
    Ambivalent- having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.
    “The path of the red and black ink” – Anzaldua, Gloria

  5. May 2, 2018 4:54 pm


  6. Kimberly permalink
    May 2, 2018 4:56 pm

    Seminar: a conference or other meeting for discussion or training
    The evergreen state college seminars handout
    Gyre: a spiral or vortex
    Gyre the book

  7. May 2, 2018 4:58 pm

    Seminar: a conference or other meeting for discussion or training
    Seminar evergreen handout
    Gyre:a spiral or vortex.
    Gyre the book

  8. May 2, 2018 4:59 pm

    Punctuation- “the basting that holds the fabric of language in shape. […] they tell us to slow down, notice this, take a detour and stop”. (page 40)
    Lynn Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves

    Unconventional- Not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed.
    Alice Bag, Violence Girl

  9. May 6, 2018 9:17 pm

    Endangered Species Act. E.S.A., A legislation enacted in 1973 for both international and domestic conservation. To protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. David Gaudet. Gyre the plastic Ocean, pg.141

    Marine Mammal Protection Act, M.M.P.A., A legislation introduced in 1972 and amended in 1994. Protects all marine mammals, including cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) sirenians (manatees and dugongs) sea otters, and polar bears within the waters of the united states. David Gaudet. Gyre the plastic ocean, pg. 141

  10. May 7, 2018 11:30 pm

    a strong and fast-moving stream of water or other liquid.
    “rain poured down in torrents”
    synonyms: flood, deluge, inundation, spate, cascade, cataract, rush, stream, current, flow, overflow, tide
    “a torrent of water”

    come together and form one mass or whole.
    “the puddles had coalesced into shallow streams”
    Both words from (Los Angeles against the Mountains)

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