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I hear the chorus, it is a grand opera,
Ah this indeed is music – this suits me.
‘Song of Myself’ was first published as an untitled selection in Walt Whitman’s landmark poetry collection Leaves of Grass (1855), and was revised by Whitman until his death in 1892. The 52-section free-verse work is a vivid and sprawling exploration of selfhood narrated by an observer, who at times seems to transcend the constraints of the human mind. Part of a poetry series created for a Harvard University online neuroscience course, this video features words from the 26th section of ‘Song of Myself’ – a meditation on the ceaseless stream of sounds, mundane and sublime, that the narrator experiences. The video skilfully conjures Whitman’s prose, with a fluid, dreamlike animation style that captures the vivid sensuousness of his words, combined with Civil War imagery that alludes to the context in which they were written.
An artistic collaboration across centuries brings a 1432 battle scene to arresting life
Dance and theatre
Absorb the infectious rhythms of Setapa – a joyous dance from southern Africa
Nature and landscape
Honouring the caribou, in dreams and memories from an Innu singer-songwriter
Dance and theatre
Technology, philosophy, randomness – how Merce Cunningham pushed dance to its limits
Philosophy of mind
Embodied cognition seems intuitive, but philosophy can push it to some strange places
An ageing artist’s unguarded thoughts on what it takes to be great – and why he lacks it
The astonishing resonances between patterns in nature, microscopic and cosmic
Workplace diversity isn’t just about equality – it’s a competitive advantage
Beauty and aesthetics
Not just a meme, but a masterpiece – why the Mona Lisa earns its exalted place in art