Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jack Kerouac, Walt Whitman, and Levi's

Perhaps you're familiar with the excellent PBS series, Connections, narrated by James Burke. It's a unique look at history by making unusual connections between events and people. I am always fascinated by connections - I think most people are - and today in is an article that connects Levi's jeans, Walt Whitman, and Jack Kerouac. You can read the article here.

Now, go read some Whitman. He was a big influence on Kerouac, you know.


Michael Ratcliffe said...

Thanks for posting this, Rick. I also have seen the ad (which was amazing since I rarely watch TV anymore). Wonder what Whitman would think about his poem being used to market jeans?

Here's another connection to explore. I just picked up a copy of "The Selected Poems of Li Po" (translated by David Hinton). Li Po (who lived in the 8th century) is considered to be one of the greatest Chinese poets. He spent much of his time wandering (on the road); he loved drinking wine; and spontaneity of thought and action featured in his writing.

In the great wheel of life, birth, and rebirth is it too outrageous to think that perhaps Li Po was reborn as Walt Whitman who was reborn as Jack Kerouac?

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Michael, synchronistically, this is the second Li Po mention I've run across in so many weeks. I definitely need to check him out. Li Po to Whitman to Kerouac? Why not? There was some time in between, but maybe their souls were resting (wherever it is souls do such things).

Walt on Levi's using his poetry to sell jeans? A great question - I doubt he'd approve, but then he was an unpredictable curmudgeon so . . . who knows?