Using Walt Whitman's Poetry To Sell Jeans

It's horrifying. It's sort of cool. Or both
This Levi's ad, currently running around the country, wants you to buy
$238 jeans and features a recording of Walt Whitman reciting his own
poem, Pioneers! O Pioneers!, which many of us first learned in school. 

You remember the one:  "Pioneers! O Pioneers!  COME, my tan-faced children,
Follow well in order, get your weapons ready;
Have you your pistols? have you your sharp edged axes? Pioneers! O pioneers! For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger, 5
We, the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend, Pioneers! O pioneers!"

For some reason, this bothers me more than it does hearing a Beatles tune selling a computer or a Rolling Stones song selling a fancy car.  What about you?


Leave a comment
  • maybe we can teach prose better thru the web. I like it and think kids will remember it. more integrated technology with subject matter content is needed and kids appreciate it because it ain't no old book or worksheet. i still see mimeographs out there. that smell!


    The vigour and freshness, which should have been stored up for the purpose of struggle for existence in practical life, have been washed out of them by precocious mental debauchery

  • I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
    And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    `My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level sands stretch far away".

  • When I have fears that I may cease to be
    Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
    Before high piled books, in charact'ry,
    Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
    When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
    Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
    And think that I may never live to trace
    Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
    And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
    That I shall never look upon thee more,
    Never have relish in the faery power
    Of unreflecting love;

Leave a comment