SRS Walt Whitman poetry

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by mrj, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. mrj

    mrj New Member

    Jun 10, 2007
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    I recently discovered Walt Whitman, and find his poetry to be extremely tranquil and oh-so relative.

    Most of his poems are very simple, but with depth that makes you truly relate. I'd like to post a few of my favorites as I feel that they could leave their mark on the individuals of this forum.

    Feel free to post your favorite poets or poetry also, that can relate to this forum, life, or whatever. You know.

    Walter Whitman (May 31, 1819March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. Proclaimed the "greatest of all American poets" by many foreign observers a mere four years after his death, he is viewed as the first urban poet. He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and Realism, incorporating both views in his works. His works have been translated into more than twenty-five languages.[1] Whitman is among the most influential and controversial poets in the American canon. His work has been described as a "rude shock" and "the most audacious and debatable contribution yet made to American literature."[2] As Whitman wrote in Leaves of Grass (By Blue Ontario's Shore), "Rhymes and rhymers pass away...America justifies itself, give it time..."

    Year that Trembled. by Walt Whitman
    YEAR that trembled and reel'd beneath me!
    Your summer wind was warm enough—yet the air I breathed froze me;
    A thick gloom fell through the sunshine and darken'd me;
    Must I change my triumphant songs? said I to myself;
    Must I indeed learn to chant the cold dirges of the baffled?
    And sullen hymns of defeat?

    O Me! O Life! by Walt Whitman
    O ME! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;
    Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill'd with the foolish;
    Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more
    Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever
    Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
    Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;
    The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

    That you are here—that life exists, and identity;

    That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

    This last one isn't Whitman, but is also a fantastic one.

    'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
    'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
    'I don't much care where --' said Alice.
    'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
    '--so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation.

    Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland


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