Drinks With Dead People

Raise a glass to history.

Tag: Poetry

Walt Whitman’s Coffee Cake

Have a drink with: Walt Whitman
Contains multitudes; also coffee cake

Ask him about: Baking with pork fat

Walt Whitman is today remembered for a lot of things. He is the expansive, energetic chronicler of vibrant American life and spirit. He liked nude sunbathing. He grew one of history’s great beards. There was nothing he could not solve with a nice walk outside, musing: “Few know what virtue there is in the open air.”

He isn’t, though, remembered for his baking. And that’s a shame. The man made a mean coffee cake.

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Thomas Nashe

Have a drink with: Thomas Nashe
It was the merry month of February…

Ask him about: Valentine’s Day plans

Though he lived in Elizabethan England, Thomas Nashe was not an unfamiliar figure to modern thinking: in his twenties, Nashe was out of college, short on funds and trying to make it as a writer in London. It was a tough time for a writer without independent wealth or consistent patronage – plague outbreaks made life dangerous and, as a practical matter, often closed the theaters that called on writers for material. And while young Thomas was very talented, let’s face it: when you’re a freelance writer, no matter how good you are sometimes you’ve just gotta pay the bills. Sometimes having to “prostitute my pen in hope of gain” means writing corporate sales copy, sometimes it means ghostwriting, and yes, sometimes it means reluctantly writing raunchy poems about sex toys. Welcome to the Elizabethan Cialis ad.

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