Thursday, June 23, 2011

Faved! : Walt Whitman's Miracles

I first discovered Whitman as a young teenager when the December 1994 issue of National Geographic magazine arrived in our mailbox. How I looked forward to the magazines: the amazing photographs, the wealth of information, the parts of the world that seemed so far from mine but yet so near. I don't think I am exaggerating if I say that my love of travelling has its roots in those days of burying my nose in those pages.

Back to the story, the article was about Walt Whitman and his collection of poems called "Leaves of Grass". It featured extracts from the collection and I remembered being greatly affected by the words. Here's a man who wrote of things that resonate up until now. Surely such wisdom came from somewhere unbound by time and the flesh?

Here's a poem that I rediscovered thanks to I find myself once again nodding to its mystical and heavily inspired origin. Enjoy.

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of
the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night
with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so
quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with
the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.

To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—
the ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

1 poetic mutterings: