The Spirit of Walt Whitman
"Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take your hat off to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."
BEING A HUMAN BODY AS RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE (Song Of Myself, 24)
Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son;
Turbulent, fleshly, sensual, eating, drinking and breeding,
No sentimentalist, no stander above men and women or apart
No more modest than immodest…
I speak the pass-word primeval, I give the sign of democracy,
By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have
their counterpart of on the same terms.
Through me many long dumb voices,
Voices of the interminable generations of prisoners and slaves,
Voices of the diseas'd and despairing and of thieves and dwarfs….
And of the threads that connect the stars,
and of wombs and of the fatherstuff,
And of the rights of them the others are down upon,
Of the deformed trivial, flat, foolish, despised,
Fog in the air, beetles rolling balls of dung.
Through me forbidden voices,
Voices of sexes and lusts, voices veil'd and I remove the veil,
Voices indecent by me clarified and transfigured.
I do not press my fingers across my mouth,
I keep as delicate around the bowels as around the head and heart,
Copulation is no more rank to me than death is.
I believe in the flesh and the appetites,
Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles,
and each part and tag of me is a miracle.
Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch….
The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer,
This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds.
If I worship one thing more than another it shall be
the spread of my own body!
Posted by AKL at 10:10 AM