Walt Whitman: Poet, Lover, "God"

I’m reading Leaves of Grass again lately. There’s a cult in California that counts Walt Whitman among their “gods,” and I don’t completely disagree with that assessment. Personally, I wouldn’t call him a god, but then, semantic arguments are universally boring. He is what he is. No more, no less. Just like all of us. Tell ’em “He Is” sent you, and leave it at that.

This is one of the poems that consistently catches my attention, because it resonates perfectly with something I have felt palpably at many times in my life. The question is, how can one learn to feel it all the time?

Miracles
by Walt Whitman

Why! who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love—or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds—or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down—or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best—mechanics, boatmen, farmers,
Or among the savans—or to the soiree—or to the opera,
Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery,
Or behold children at their sports,
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman,
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial,
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass;
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring—yet each distinct, and in its place.
To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass—the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.
To me the sea is a continual miracle;
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the ships, with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?


2 thoughts on “Walt Whitman: Poet, Lover, "God"

  1. Ive been wondering how you can feel that all the time as well?Im thinking its something that just happens..not anything that has a consistent answer.

    Like

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