Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Walt Whitman is an arch-figure in any list of great 19th century writers – original in both form and content, continually surprising in his experimentation, and continually evocative in the sensuality of his words. A master of the love for everyday life. Whitman’s poetry with its espousal of comradeship across class lines, and advocacy of a utopian democracy has long inspired, with its interlocking themes of shared values, expressing the divine light in every individual, an almost organic view of society. A big influence on another writer I admire Edward Carpenter. Whitman’s philosophy expressed a divine light in every individual, the value of the individual en masse, can be grabbed for our own times. An early DIY advocate who sold his Leaves of Grass door to door and self published his own books. A man of deep deep passion whose birthday I celebrate today. 197 years old. His words still continuing to enrich the earth.
" the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others… re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul…” - Walt Whitman
Here I offer this poem from his pen :-
Poets to Come
POETS to come! orators, singers, musicians to come!
Not to-day is to justify me, and answer what I am for;
But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than
Arouse! Arouse--for you must justify me--you must answer.
I myself but write one or two indicative words for the future,
I but advance a moment, only to wheel and hurry back in the darkness.
I am a man who, sauntering along, without fully stopping, turns a
casual look upon you, and then averts his face,
Leaving it to you to prove and define it,
Expecting the main things from you.
Posted by teifidancer at 13:45