I love to read poetry, especially the last few years. So how come I’ve never read Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass? Hard to believe, even to me.
Maybe it’s the size of the thing. Maybe it’s that it grew wildly over 37 years, and all that was in the 19th century. Maybe I thought it was like most 19th century writing, and took way to long to say what it wanted to say, with lots of side dressing I could not make myself care about.
And, of course, I hadn’t heard until lately about its sexiness and sensuality.
I actually bought a paperback of Leaves over 2 years ago. Since there was no room in the bedside table full of stuff I am going to read some day, it ended up on the floor of one of the bedroom closets, in a pile that I am going to read some day.
Well, now I seem to be ready. I’ve wandered around in the book, read the intro and the chronology, read the list of titles, and read his Lincoln poems, including, O Captain, My Captain.
Flipping it open, I find
Of Equality – as if it harm’d me, giving others the same
chances and rights as myself – as if it
were not indispenable to my own rights
that others possess the same.
I shall definitely enjoy reading this fellow Gemini’s work!