Thursday, January 29, 2009

I was reading Walt Whitman and came across his, AS I PONDER'D IN SILENCE, poem. as it cleaved itself from the pages and into space i recognized his truth. i would like to share it:

As i ponder'd in silence
Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long,
A phantom arose before me with distrustful aspect,
Terrible in beauty, age and power,
The genius of poets of old lands,
As to me directing like flame its eyes,
With finger pointing to many immortal songs,
And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said,
Know'st thou not there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards?
And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles,
The making of perfect soldiers.
Be it so, then i answer'd,
I too haughty Shake also sing war, and a longer and greater one
than any,
Waged in my book with varying fortune, with flight, advance and
retreat, victory deferr'd and wavering,
(Yet life methinks certain, or as good as certain, at the last,) the field
the world,
For life and death, for the Body and for the eternal Soul,
Lo, I too am come, chanting the chant of battles,
I above all promote brave soldiers.

From, LEAVES OF GRASS, 2004 edition; pg. 165

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