Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday Verse: from "Song of Myself" - Walt Whitman

from Song of Myself

A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them,
It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out o their mothers' laps,
And here you are the mothers' laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues,
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end ot arrest it,
And ceas'd the moment life appear'd.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

- Walt Whitman

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Verse: "Often Rebuked, Yet Always Back Returning" - Emily Bronte

Often Rebuked, Yet Always Back Returning

Often rebuked, yet always back returning
       To those first feelings that were born with me,
And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning
       For idle dreams of things which cannot be:

Today, I will seek not the shadowy region;
       In unsustaining vastness waxes drear,
And visions rising, legion after legion,
       Bring the unreal world too strangely near.

I'll walk but not in old heroic traces,
       And not in paths of high morality,
And not among the distinguished faces,
       The clouded forms of long-past history

I'll walk where my own nature would be leading --
       It vexes me to choose another guide --
Where they gray flocks in ferny glens are feeding,
       Where the wild wind blows on the mountainside.

What have those lonely mountains worth revealing?
       More glory and more grief than I can tell:
The earth that wakes one human heart to feeling
       Can center both the worlds of Heaven and Hell

  - Emily Bronte

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday Verse: "Thanatopsis" - William Cullen Bryant


To him who, in the love of Nature, hold
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language: for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty; and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over they spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at the heart, --
Go forth under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around--
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air--
Comes a still voice:-- yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where they pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
They image, Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
They growth, to be resolved to earth again;
And lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix forever with the elements;
To be a brother to the insensible rock,
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce they mold.
Yet not to thine eternal resting place
Shalt though retire alone -- nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world -- with kings,
The powerful of the earth -- the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulcher. The hills,
Rock-ribbed, and ancient as the sun; the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods; rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks,
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all
Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste --
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man! The golden sun.
The planets, all in infinite host of heaven,
ARe shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lost thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon and hears no sound
Save his own dashings -- yet the dead are there;
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep -- the dead reign there alone!
So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living; and no friend
Take note of they departure? All that breathe
Will share they destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou are gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before shall chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glides away, the sons of men --
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strengths of years, matron and maid,
And the sweet babe, and the gray-headed man --
All one by one be gathered to thy side,
By those, who in their turn shall follow them.

So live that when they summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan that moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach they grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

- William Cullen Bryant

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday Verse: "Something Nice About Myself" - Phillip Whalen

Something Nice About Myself

Lots of people who no longer love each other
Keep on loving me
& I

I make myself rarely available

 - Phillip Whalen

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Music for your Midweek: My Brightest Diamond - "High Low Middle"

Are you crazy for My Brightest Diamond yet? I won tickets to her show at Urban Lounge in December, and I can hardly wait! She's released a couple new songs that you can listen to on Spotify. Until then, check out this track. It was part of last September's mix as well. Such a cute video: