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Two poems by Walt Whitman

Reconciliation

Word over all, beautiful as the sky,

Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must in time

be utterly lost,

That the hands of the sisters Death and Night incessantly

softly wash again, and ever again, this soil’d world;

For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself is dead,

I look where he lies white-faced and still in the coffin––

I draw near,

Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face

in the coffin.

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,

When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and

measure them,

When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much

applause in the lecture-room,

How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,

Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Like Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman understood that genuine reconciliation after the Civil War was the only way to heal the nation. More essentially, Whitman appears to have been a man in love with all existence and spiritually incapable of ego-centered hatreds and resentments. During his lifetime many of his admirers felt that he was as great a spiritual teacher as he was a master of poetry. His friend, Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke, believed that “something of that spiritual elevation can still be seen” in this photograph. It was probably taken in 1854 by the photographer Gabriel Harrison. Born in 1819, Walt Whitman died on May 31, 1892.

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Reconciliation

Word over all, beautiful as the sky,

Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must in time

be utterly lost,

That the hands of the sisters Death and Night incessantly

softly wash again, and ever again, this soil’d world;

For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself is dead,

I look where he lies white-faced and still in the coffin––

I draw near,

Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face

in the coffin.

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,

When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and

measure them,

When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much

applause in the lecture-room,

How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,

Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Like Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman understood that genuine reconciliation after the Civil War was the only way to heal the nation. More essentially, Whitman appears to have been a man in love with all existence and spiritually incapable of ego-centered hatreds and resentments. During his lifetime many of his admirers felt that he was as great a spiritual teacher as he was a master of poetry. His friend, Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke, believed that “something of that spiritual elevation can still be seen” in this photograph. It was probably taken in 1854 by the photographer Gabriel Harrison. Born in 1819, Walt Whitman died on May 31, 1892.

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Comments
4

the second poem so resonates with me..the tedious objectivity of the scientific specifics of things intellectual...the boredom it brings eventually

juxtaposed with the feelings developed by the experience of stargazing...Walt Whiitman is my favorite poet

http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/famemovie/isingthebodyelectric.htm

May 27, 2010

Both poems resonate with me. Whitman--such a master with the free verse!

May 28, 2010

I LOVE Uncle Walt. In fact, not 15 minutes ago I attached a quote from him to the bottom of an email, then clicked over here to find his face popping up at me.

Gotta love those little Sunday Synchronicities.

:0)

May 30, 2010

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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