Today is Walt Whitman's 195th birthday. Let's celebrate with a fun comparison between two very different readings from his classic of American literature, "Leaves of Grass."

First up, from my Hysterical Literature video project:

Next, via Brainpickings, a theatrical reading by legendary James Earl Jones:

Which do you think Walt would have preferred?

"Sex contains all, bodies, souls, 

Meanings, proofs, purities, delicacies, results, promulgations,

Songs, commands, health, pride, the maternal mystery, the seminal milk,

All hopes, benefactions, bestowals, all the passions, loves, beauties, delights of the earth,

All the governments, judges, gods, follow’d persons of the earth,

These are contain’d in sex as parts of itself and justifications of itself."

-A Woman Waits for Me, Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman 1855