Friday, May 9, 2008

Celebrating Walt Whitman

I have been quite taken recently in my revisiting of the American poet, Walt Whitman, in his book, Leaves of Grass. Thought I would share just a few of Whitman’s thoughts.

All truths wait in all things,
They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,
They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon,
The insignificant is as big to me as any,
(What is less or more than a touch?)

Logic and sermon never convince,
The damp of the night drives deeper in the soul

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars...
And the cow crunching with depress’d head surpasses any statue,
And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels.

The words of the true poem give you more than poems,
They give you to form for yourself poems, religions, politics, war, peace, behaviour, histories, essays, daily life, and everything else,
They balance ranks, colors, races, creeds, and the sexes,
They do not seek beauty, they are sought,
Forever touching them or close upon them follows beauty, longing, fain, love-sick.

Painters have painted their swarming groups and the centre-figure of all,
From the head of the centre-figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color’d light,
But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus of gold-color’d light,
From my hand from the brain of every man and woman it streams, effulgently flowing forever.

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know nothing else but miracles...

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