A WISP OF GRASS
Due to the good acceptance of my latest post about the poem “Do Not Let” by Walt Whitman, I have decided to share another excerpt from his delightful book “Leaves of Grass” this week. Published in 1885, this work was a revolution in form and substance, its boldness and honesty, its style, direct, naked, without taboos, and its enormous power are inspiring and revealing.
A work that the longer it lives the more valuable seems to become, as it takes us back to basics, to the Earth, because it contains the truth that comes from a lucid voice that is expressed without fear:
“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of
And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and
the egg of the wren,
And the tree-toad is a chef-d’oeuvre for the highest,
And the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heaven,
And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery,
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself
And you must not be abased to the other.
Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat,
I think I could turn and live with animals, they’re so placid
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands
of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
So they show their relations to me and I accept them,
They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in
You sea! I resign myself to you also —I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me,
We must have a turn together, I undress, hurry me out of
sight of the land,
Cushion me soft, rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet, I can repay you.
Sea of stretch’d ground-swells,
Sea breathing broad and convulsive breaths,
Sea of the brine of life and of unshovell’d yet always-ready
Howler and scooper of storms, capricious and dainty sea,
I am integral with you, I too am of one phase and of all phases.
Partaker of influx and efflux, I, extoller of hate and conciliation,
Extoller of amies and those that sleep in each others’ arms.”
I strongly recommend reading it: you will be surprised, touched, moved, inspired by it.
I wish you a happy week.
Kisses and hugs,
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