Friday, August 12, 2011

33/365 Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

I loafe and invite my soul, 
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

I know it is just one poem, but I've got this lovely pocket edition.  And it's long, too.

This is one of those poems that makes my stomach hurt at certain parts.  How is it so perfect?  My taste doesn't naturally turn to this sort of poetry, but I do love Walt Whitman.
I don't want to say much about it, because I'll just get silly.   I read on Wikipedia that the first edition was pocket-sized because. "That would tend to induce people to take me along with them and read me in the open air: I am nearly always successful with the reader in the open air." Which sort of cracks me up.  It's Wikipedia, so who knows if it's true, but it makes me very happy about my little pocket edition.
I have Leaves of Grass, but I've yet to read it all.  I tend to buy used books in huge spurts, around twenty at a time, and then it takes me an age to read them all.  I'm still going through the stuff I bought at a closing sale last year - three buying spurts ago.  
Anyways, I love Uncle Walt.  We share a birthday, incidentally.  It makes me very proud, though I can't think of any logical reason why.  

CONCLUSION: Must look in to Leaves of Grass.  Will think about always keeping the little Song of Myself in my purse.  I might have to give it a read while sitting out in our lovely yard one afternoon.  

Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd the
earth much?
Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of
all poems,
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 your self.

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