On Sunday, October 16, David S. Taylor visited the Pennington Public Library as a first-person Walt Whitman impersonator. During the performance, Whitman discussed his personal life as well as American history. Whitman’s poetry and writings were cleverly woven through the performance.
Whitman started by professing his love for libraries and by retelling his childhood memories. Then, he told the audience about his career in newspaper printing, his first publication of his anthology Leaves of Grass, his volunteer work during the Civil War, and ending with stories from his later life in Camden, New Jersey.
Some of the poems Whitman recited included “A Noiseless, Patient Spider”, “I hear America Singing”, “Beat! Beat! Drums!”, and of course, “Song of Myself”.
Taylor was able to bring Whitman to life through his storytelling, acting, and period costume. Taylor remained in character during the performance and question session, and the audience was delighted to speak to such a popular poet.
It was clear that the audience remained engaged throughout the performance, immersed in the rhythm and words of Whitman’s writing. The audience feedback was extremely positive; audience members enjoyed the speaker’s charm and thought his program was put together well. Overall, it was a relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
This program was produced by the American Historical Theatre. If you have any suggestions for another historical figure’s visit, please let the library know. We would love to hear your suggestions!
For those interested in history, there are more events to come at the Pennington Public Library. On Sunday, November 6, Martin Mosho, a retired instructor from Mercer County Community College, will be speak on the role of women during the Civil War. The event is called “Unsung Heroines: The Role of Women in the American Civil War” and will take place at 3:00 pm. No registration is necessary. Come join us!