Monday, July 25, 2011

One’s-Self I Sing by Walt Whitman

One’s-self I sing—a simple, separate Person;
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-masse.
Of Physiology from top to toe I sing;
Not physiognomy alone, nor brain alone, is worthy for the muse—I say the Form complete is worthier far;
The Female equally with the male I sing.
Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,
Cheerful—for freest action form’d, under the laws divine,
The Modern Man I sing.

Some thoughts... 

on this poem: This poem serves as the preface to Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’, his magnum opus, published in 1855.

A simple poem written in free verse, his muse, as he says, is his Self, both as an individual entity, as well as a member of the human community; Man, and Woman, whose being is greater than the sum of their physical and mental make-up; and the power of a life lived under the benevolent laws of God and Man.

on a personal note: We went on a week-end trip to the museum. The chief attraction there was the human body. Actual cadavers with musculature, organs, and skeletal structure realistically preserved through the magic of science. 

I expected it to be gruesome, and came away awed by the beauty of this fragile human body with all its gifts of strength, agility, and regeneration. Intelligent Design indeed.

…Life immense in passion, pulse, and power…

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