Poetry Friday

Everyone needs a little Good Gray in their lives. . .

excerpted from Section #42 of "Song of Myself:"

This is the city and I am one of the citizens,
Whatever interests the rest interests me, politics, wars, markets, news-
papers, schools,
The mayor and councils, banks, tariffs, steamships, factories, stocks,
stores, real estate and personal estate,

The little plentiful manikins skipping around in collars and tail'd
I am aware who they are, (they are positively not worms or fleas,)
I acknowledge the duplicates of myself, the weakest and shallowest is
deathless with me,
What I do and say the same waits for them,
Every though that flounders in me the same flounders in them.

I know perfectly well my own egotism,
Know my omnivorous lines and must not write any less,
And would fetch you whoever you are flush with myself.

No words of routine this song of mine,
But abruptly to question, to leap beyond yet nearer bring
. . .
The sky up there--yet here or next door, or across the way?
The saints and sages in history--but you yourself?
Sermons, creeds, theology--but the fathomless human brain,
And what is reason? and what is love? and what is life?

And I couldn't resist the pull of #30, one of the briefest of the set--thus affording me the opportunity to post it in its entirety:

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 sermons never convince,
The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.

(Only what proves itself to every man and woman is so,
Only what nobody denies is so.)

A minute and a drop of me settle my brain,
I believe the soggy clouds shall become lovers and lamps,
And a compend of the compends is the meat of a man or woman,
And a summit and flower there is the feeling they have for each other,
And they are to branch boundlessly out of that lesson until it becomes
And until one and all shall delight us, and we them.

Disclaimer: blogger stinks at maintaining line spacing after publishing (or maybe I'm just an amateur html-ist) so these aren't exactly representative of the way the lines actually appear, although the breaks are the same.


enc said...

Blogger lacks typographical controls, I agree. This is a hair-pull-er-outer for me.

Anyway, the poetry washed me clean. I loved it.

Mary Lee said...

"All truths wait in all things,
They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it"

So true.

teach people not books said...

i always come back to walt, again and again. something about the way he finds wisdom and potential greatness in every small thing imaginable, and lists them all without pretense or preference, makes me admire him so much.

and what long-winded once-english-major teacher doesn't love to hear, "i . . . know my omnivorous lines and must not write any less," let alone what blogger?

Anonymous said...

no ideas but in things....wcwilliams

seems to go along with this, HDT once apologized for writing such a long letter saying he didn't have time to write a short one


teach people not books said...

i love that wcw quote, it's one i address with my students in writing workshop.

thoreau certainly wasn't any stranger to egotism himself--and he was likewise unapologetic. there must be something about his brand of self reliance (imho, a little more evolved than emerson's) that brings out what society deems egotism.