The Therapeutic Value of Walt Whitman's Poetry: Background information when reading Hello Beautiful

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Hello Beautiful

A Novel

by Ann Napolitano

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano X
Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
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  • Published:
    Mar 2023, 400 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Abby Edgecumbe
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The Therapeutic Value of Walt Whitman's Poetry

This article relates to Hello Beautiful

Black and white photograph of Walt WhitmanAnn Napolitano's novel Hello Beautiful is the story of four sisters contending with life and loss, love, death and forgiveness, and finding different ways to cope with hardship. The characters go through mental and physical rehabilitation and therapy, and make a string of rash decisions as they try to find a way to deal with the ups and downs of life. The poetry of Walt Whitman, and his views on the cyclical nature of life and death, provide a much needed coping mechanism for several of them.

Walt Whitman's poetry is widely regarded as therapeutic. In an essay titled "Walt Whitman's Search for a Healthy Mental Therapeutic," scholar Peter James Black asserts that in his poetry, "Whitman is suggesting that he can operate in a relationship to his reader which is equivalent to that supplied today by a surrogate life-support system." Whitman himself saw poetry as a vessel to enact a real difference in peoples' lives, much in the same way that a support system - such as a family - might...

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