Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's all Walt Whitman's fault!!

I have been seriously absent from my blog and (one of my favorite) poet Walt Whitman bears some responsibility for that!!

It all started when I signed up for the 'Skylines and Skyscrapers' swap on Angela Cartwright's Yahoo group In This House. This is the second time around for this swap and it's just too much fun to miss. You can spy some wonderful entries from the first time around in an article in the March/April 2008 edition of Somerset Studio. So for this swap we have to create 13 structures...

I had not begun work on mine and I was checking out some Walt Whitman poetry one afternoon, and hunting down a specific poem of his that I remembered bits of. Well I found it at Famous Poets and Poems - Read and Enjoy Poetry. What a great site if you love poetry, they have full text and (some) complete works of many poets!! So here's the poem that got me started with my structures for this swap, and it really has taken on quite a life of its own...

More to follow later!

Give me the Splendid, Silent Sun. by Walt Whitman

GIVE me the splendid silent sun, with all his beams full-dazzling;

Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard;

Give me a field where the unmow’d grass grows;

Give me an arbor, give me the trellis’d grape;

Give me fresh corn and wheat—give me serene-moving animals, teaching content;

Give me nights perfectly quiet, as on high plateaus west of the Mississippi, and I looking up at the stars;

Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers, where I can walk undisturb’d;

Give me for marriage a sweet-breath’d woman, of whom I should never tire;

Give me a perfect child—give me, away, aside from the noise of the world, a rural,domestic life; Give me to warble spontaneous songs, reliev’d, recluse by myself, for my own ears only;

Give me solitude—give me Nature—give me again, O Nature, your primal sanities!

—These, demanding to have them, (tired with ceaseless excitement, and rack’d by the war-strife;)

These to procure, incessantly asking, rising in cries from my heart,

While yet incessantly asking, still I adhere to my city;

Day upon day, and year upon year, O city, walking your streets,

Where you hold me enchain’d a certain time, refusing to give me up;

Yet giving to make me glutted, enrich’d of soul—you give me forever faces;

(O I see what I sought to escape, confronting, reversing my cries; I see my own soul trampling down what it ask’d for.)


Keep your splendid, silent sun;

Keep your woods, O Nature, and the quiet places by the woods;

Keep your fields of clover and timothy, and your corn-fields and orchards;

Keep the blossoming buckwheat fields, where the Ninth-month bees hum;

Give me faces and streets! give me these phantoms incessant and endless along the trottoirs! Give me interminable eyes! give me women! give me comrades and lovers by the thousand!

Let me see new ones every day! let me hold new ones by the hand every day!

Give me such shows! give me the streets of Manhattan!

Give me Broadway, with the soldiers marching—give me the sound of the trumpets and drums! (The soldiers in companies or regiments—some, starting away, flush’d and reckless;

Some, their time up, returning, with thinn’d ranks—young, yet very old, worn,marching,noticing nothing;)—

Give me the shores and the wharves heavy-fringed with the black ships!

O such for me! O an intense life! O full to repletion, and varied!

The life of the theatre, bar-room, huge hotel, for me!

The saloon of the steamer! the crowded excursion for me! the torch-light procession!

The dense brigade, bound for the war, with high piled military wagons following;

People, endless, streaming, with strong voices, passions, pageants;

Manhattan streets, with their powerful throbs, with the beating drums, as now;

The endless and noisy chorus, the rustle and clank of muskets, (even the sight of the wounded;)Manhattan crowds, with their turbulent musical chorus—with varied chorus, and

light of the sparkling eyes;

Manhattan faces and eyes forever for me.

1 comment:

\***/ Jean said...

your page is really beautiful!!! Love the colors and the white circles...the text and nice!