Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Walt Whitman Sells Pants

Yes, he does. And he does a great job at it.

Levi's -- the jeans company -- is doing a series of ads using Whitman's poems.

Here's an ad using lines from "O Pioneers":



Here's an ad using some of "America":



Slate.com has an article about this amazing development in literary history.

7 comments:

Angelina said...

Interesting...I hadn't seen the ads aired. At first I felt a sort of indignation that Walt's words were prostituted for commercial gain, but on second thought the ads were artistically rendered and if they wake up one wallet wielding teenager to the power of Whitman than it is well worth it.

John Guzlowski said...

Hi, Angelina, thanks for stopping by. I feel the way you do about the ads. I think they may speak to some young people. I linked the ads to my online class in American Literary Masterpieces.

I'm curious what my students will say. They found Whitman's song of myself too complicated and found him arrogant.

Sigh.

hablamowicz said...

I think these ads have a special feel to them beyond the selling pitch. Almost uplifting an dinspiring....I will link them to my Semiotics class as a good example of the use of metaphor.

Two Review said...

Wait a minute - poetry in the mainstream? I'm all for it. More, more, more...

John Guzlowski said...

Yeah, poetry in the mainstream. More than that! Poetry being used to further the capitalist agenda! As my dad used to say, the world's coming to an end!

Urkat said...

Pioneers, O pioneers could almost be interchanged with "buy a pair, buy a pair."

Sara said...

How strange.