Sunday, May 31, 2009

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 before known,
Arouse! For you must justify me.

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.

Walt Whitman, 31 May 1819 - 26. March 1892


  1. To You.

    by Walt Whitman

    STRANGER! if you, passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me, why should you
    not speak to me?
    And why should I not speak to you?

  2. I love his Song Of Myself...actually I like the whole book Leaves Of Grass. An astounding poet.

  3. Sometimes Walt Whitman overwhelms me...And not always in a positive manner! But then, he gives me permission to take some and leave some when he wrote in "Song of Myself" (1855):

    Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then...I contradict myself;
    I am large...I contain multitudes.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    So long, dear Adam! "Good-bye - and hail! my Fancy." I hope you feel that you've been justified by the next generations.

  4. Whitman was my father's favourite poet [along with Dylan Thomas] so I am happy to be reminded of him.

  5. It is a long, long time since I thought of reading Walt Whitman. I must change this forthwith!

  6. Whitman's words burst with deep feeling, joy and life. "I Sing the Body Electric" is an intoxicating poem.

  7. Nevin,
    actually, I was thinking of posting To You, but it might have been considered too long; and as I was already planning to post some poems of a contemporary poet - thus one who has come :) - I chose this one.

    certainly a remarkable poet; at the time I read a bit of his work he could not fascinate me. May be, once I shall give him (and me) a new chance. :)

    contradicting oneself has now and then its own charme. :)

    the more glad I am that I stumbled upon Whitman's birthday. :)
    Now, and Dylan Thomas is ... Dylan Thomas. Once, in a lovely bookshop in Brecan Beacon I bought lots of his works - and read them more than once since.

    certainly he deserves it. Although, years ago being asked who I prefer - Whitman or Emerson - my answer was: Thoreau. :)

    now that I - and perhaps to a certain degree the self-contradicting Claudia - seem to be the sceptical minority - I shall follow your intoxidating commendation.

    Thank you all for your thoughts.