One of my favorite poets is Walt Whitman. Not just because of the delicious homoerotic imagery in his poems, which admittedly is a huge draw, but also because he was one of the first poets to uniquely define an American style. Whitman originated tons of conventions in American poetry, and I see direct ties between his connection between the personal and the epic, his blunt honesty and enjoyment of the physical and sensual, and the poets of the ’50s and late ’60s with their confessional style and their use of poetry to bring the divine and the profane together.

This is all an overly academic way of introducing what I learned today when flipping channels. I came across a biographical portrait of Whitman, and I learned something I didn’t know, which is that one of his fans and admirers was artist Thomas Eakins.

Admittedly, I’m much less of an art fan than a poetry fan, but the images and sketches they showed from Eakins on the TV biography immediately caught my interest. They’re beautiful, sensual pieces, and I thought they might be wonderful inspiration for stories.

A few of them are linked here.

What do you think? Do you see a story in any of them? I wonder if this is old news to some of you, but it’s my first exposure, and I think they’re lovely. Are there any other artists or poets whose work speaks to you as a writer or reader and gives you inspiration?