Monday, February 02, 2009

For the Brigid in the Blogosphere Poetry Slam: Walt Whitman

In honor of Brigid, Lady of purification, creativity, and healing, I offer this favorite poem by one of the best, Walt Whitman. This comes from the preface to the first edition of Leaves of Grass:
Love the earth and sun and the animals,
despise riches, give alms to everyone 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 off your hat to nothing known or unknown
or to any man or number of men,
go freely with powerful uneducated persons
and with the young and the mothers of families,
read these leaves in the open air
every season of every year of your life,
re-examine 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.
Hard words to improve on, in any century.

Blessed be.

(You can find more poetry in honor of Imbolc at MetaPagan or at Branches Up, Roots Down. It's not to late to participate! Directions at both sites.)

4 comments:

ambermoggie said...

love this Cat thank you:)
Mine is also up

jumbleberryjam said...

Beautiful. Thanks and bright blessings to you!

Heather said...

Excellent advice.

I've posted a poem on my blog as well.

Daniel Wilcox said...

Ah, another Walt Whitman fan:-)

Cat,

Thanks for posting the "Love the earth" poem from the preface. I don't remember ever reading this one, not in all the years I taught Walt. I guess I have always used a later edition or my ol' memory is fading;-) The 1891 edition I have here on my desk doesn't have the poem.

A nice serendipity that you posted a Whitman poem, as I am getting ready to start reading a biography
of Walt I have (as soon as I finish Edna St. Vincent Millay).

Have you read Walt's "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"? I love that poem best of his many great poems because of its transcence of time and love of coast to ocean descriptions.

In the Light,

Daniel

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