Traveling with Walt

I have traveled with uncle Walt this morning during my coffee break. And, as usual, the journey has been an enriching experience. There is a depth in his work and yet a comradesque appeal that is perhaps what I like most. Reading "Leaves of Grass" makes you feel part of a Whole, because Whitman is the largest poet. He does contain multitudes indeed.
Here is an excerpt I truly adore from "Song of an Open Road". And yes, you bet, I will give him myself. I will stick with Walt as long as I live!


From this hour I ordain myself loosed of limits and imaginary lines, 
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute, 
Listening to others, considering well what they say, 
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, 
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me. 
I inhale great draughts of space, 
The east and the west are mine, the north and the south are mine. 
I am larger, better than I thought, I did not know I held so much goodness.

Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons, It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth.
These are the days that must happen to you: 
You shall not heap up what is called riches, 
You shall scatter with a lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destined, 
You hardly settle yourself to satisfaction before you are called by an irresistable call to depart, 
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you, 
What beckonings of love you receive you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting, 
You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reached hands toward you.

Allons! to that which is endless as it was beginingless, 
To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights, 
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it, To conceive no time, however distant, but you may reach it and pass it, 
To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you, 
However long but it stretches and waits for you, 
To see no being, not god's, but you also go thither, 
To see no possession but you may possess it, enjoying all without labour or purchase, 
Abstracting the feast, yet not abstracting one particle of it. 
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you go, 
To gather minds of men out of their brains as you encounter them, to gather the love out of their hearts, 
To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them behind, 
To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for travelling souls.

Allons! the road is before us! It is safe- 
I have tried it- my own feet have tried it well- be not detained! 
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopened! 
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearned! 
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher! 
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law, 
Camerado, I give you my hand! I give you my love more precious than money, 
I give you myself before preaching or law: Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?




Comments

  1. Simply Lovely post and Walt's words are magic! You've really hit your stride, ahem, with the blog, Alessandra. Love reading these--they fill my eyes and heart with wonder!

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  2. How lovely to discover that this is a poem that Jack loves!

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