Throughout the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Online Critical Edition, a variety of online interactive tools have invited us to look anew at Walt Whitman and his poetry. This section invites us to use those same tools to go offline, to break away from our computers and classrooms and look at the importance of location and context in the shaping of creative work. Place certainly had a powerful influence on Whitman and his writing; the bustling city scenes and urban environment, with its innumerable characters and sights, all played a vital part in shaping his democratic, cataloguing free verse. This walking tour gives us an opportunity to explore the same grounds Whitman once traversed and to let his words guide us in this experiential and dynamic investigation of his life and poetry. As we travel, we will undoubtedly find many similarities and differences between Whitman’s city of 150 years ago and ours, and as we contemplate these connections, perhaps we will be better able to answer his still provacative questions, “What is it then between us?/ What is the count of the scores or hundreds of years between us?”
Walking with Whitman: The Brooklyn Walking Tour takes us through the historic streets of Brooklyn Heights where we will be able to look out from the Fulton Pier and the Brooklyn Promenade at Manhattan. You then will have the choice to either walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and see the majestic skyline of Manhattan unfold before you, or take the Water Taxi and experience a modernized version of Whitman’s travels across the East River. At each stop on the tour, Whitman's words and spirit will accompany you through the downloadable audio tracks offered on this page.
- Download the Travel Packet and print it out.
- Download all audio files and transfer them onto your portable MP3 player.
- Take your prefered method of transportation to the starting point of the tour.
- When you see the Whitman icon on your travel map, refer to the corresponding number in your travel packet for more information and audio tracks related to that site.