WALT WHITMAN. From Song Of Myself.
This is a long poem, a glorious poem, and well worth reading all the way through and rejoicing in it. And American of course, in this wonderful month of change and energy, and this is a poem that celebrates change and energy and also the longevity of love and the everlastingness of the soil
I celebrate myself, and sing myself
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.
My tongue, every atom of my blood, formed from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same and their
parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.
Creeds and schools in abeyance
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.
Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.
The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the
distillation, it is odourless,
It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked,
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.
The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, buzzd whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine,
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing
of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of shore and
dark-colourd sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn
The sound of the belchd words of my voice loosd to the eddies of the wind,
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching round of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rish of the streets, or along the fields
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.
Have you reckond a thousand acres much? Have you reckond the
Have you practisd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poetry?
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poetry
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions
of suns left)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look
through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself.