A Poem from Walt Whitman as We Embark

Go outside, stand under the stars or next to a tree, and read this poem out loud–it  has nothing and everything to do with our quest in Larger Pie.  This may be awkward at first, but if you are alone, who will know? At worst, you will have a pleasant few minutes.  And you may clear your mind for the thinking this book requires.

(Please note:  Walt Whitman wrote every line in this poem, but I have rearranged them, taking lines from various places in Leaves of Grass.)

Life immense in passion, pulse, and power
Cheerful—for freest action form’d, under the laws divine

I heard that you ask’d
for the great Idea
that comes from the soul of America.

Here for you
Here for America
Whoever you are
now I place my hand upon you
that you
be my poem.

I whisper with my lips close to your ear:
Sing me
The song of democracy.

America, filling the present
with greatest deeds and problems,
counts
almost entirely on the future.

To-day, ahead,
though dimly yet,
we see
in vistas,
a copious, sane, gigantic offspring.

The fruition of democracy,
on a grand scale
resides altogether in the future.

The word Democracy
I cannot too often repeat
that it is a word
the real gist of which
still sleeps, quite unawaken’d.

It is a great word
whose history
remains unwritten.

Each man and each woman of you
I lead upon a knoll
My left hand hooking you around the waist
My right hand pointing to landscapes of continent

I speak the pass-word primeval.
I give the sign of democracy.
Voices of the interminable generations…
and of the threads that connect the stars,
and of wombs….

The smoke
of my own breath
echoes,
ripples,
buzz’d whispers….

Listen to all sides
that mystic baffling wonder
keeping tally with the meaning of all things.
Do nothing but listen.

I have the best of time and space,
and was never
measured
and never will be measured.

I tramp a perpetual journey
A ceaseless thought….

With inscrutable purpose,
some hidden prophetic attention….
Oh we can wait no longer
the secret shall be told.
O we can wait no longer.

I have stories plenty and to spare.
And any thing I have I bestow

the great idea
that comes from the soul of America.

It is not far, it is within reach.
Continue your annotations
continue your questionings.

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Thoughts?

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