Friday, July 15, 2016

What we will do

Mary Lee Hahn hosts Poetry Friday today at A Year of Reading. Thanks Mary Lee!



    My computer is in for a tune-up, I type so-o slowly on the iPad, and these words, I hope, will help us breathe through another sad time.

  
                                                      Preface to Leaves of Grass


This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.

20 comments:

  1. Physically and mentally relax at the words. Thank you for the perfect balm. Have a good Friday Linda B.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. There are many beautiful and calming words, but poetry is my favorite of them.

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    2. I seem to be about 2 hours behind you....every time I click on a new poetry friday link....I'm just behind you. lol. I promise I'm not a stalker!

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    3. So funny, but you'll get ahead now, I stopped for the night. I'm in mountain time, FYI.

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  2. A thousand times yes, my friend!

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  3. Damn, Walter! I don't know how I missed so much of Walt Whitman as a high-schooler, because I know we read him, but maybe my brash, passionate teenaged self couldn't abide these brash, passionate words. And yet I think if I had read this with any attention, I would have recorded it in my journals as a pledge to the future. What a visionary. Thank for taking the time to type it out, Linda!

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    1. It is one of the things I do remember, Heidi, and he wrote some wonderful things, didn't he? Thanks!

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  4. This does help, Linda. Whitman makes it sound so reasonable and simple. It hurts my heart that so many don't see the truth of these words.

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    1. Wishing and hoping, Catherine. The summer has been a good one in many ways for me, but not what I imagined in other places.

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  5. This is something to post in a visible place. Thank you. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Julieanne, It makes me happy that you liked Whitman's words.

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  6. There's beautiful perspective in these words. Thank you.

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  7. These beautiful words are much needed. Thank you, Linda (and Walt)! I especially like, "dismiss whatever insults your own soul" - something I've been trying to do for a long time. =)

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    1. Agreed, some things are hard to dismiss. Thanks, Bridget.

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  8. Whitman's words echo Mary Oliver's "The Summer Day" -- a call to make use of "your one wild and precious life."

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    1. Yes, it does, Laura, other good words to appreciate. Thanks.

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