Monday, January 23, 2012

Beautiful Thing of the Day: Edward Weston for Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" (and ten lines of Whitman)

Edward Weston is one of my favorite photographers. His work is textured and raw, and the composition as close to perfect as it gets (more, more! after the jump!)

In 1941, Weston was asked to take pictures for a new edition of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. He set out across America, taking pictures as he went, and the above is one of them. I saw the show of his complete work for Whitman's poetry at the Portland Museum of Art last year, and am thrilled to report that it's coming to Boston's MFA in April. If you'll be in the area between April and December (such a wide window! you can make the trip!), go see it; it's one of the best photography shows I've ever seen. Here, to close out your Monday, is one of my favorite stanzas of one of my favorite of Walt's poems from the mighty collection.

First ten lines of "There Was a Child Went Forth:"

THERE was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years.
The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird,         5
And the third-month lambs, and the sow’s pink-faint litter, and the mare’s foal, and the cow’s calf,
And the noisy brood of the barn-yard, or by the mire of the pond-side,
And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there—and the beautiful curious liquid,
And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads—all became part of him.


  1. So happy that I stumbled across your blog today. Enjoying your photos and postings.
    Very excited to learn of the upcoming Weston exhibit at the MFA in April!

    1. Thank you so, so much Susan! You just made my day :) please do keep reading and let me know what you think of the show--I thin you'll love it!


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