Thursday, December 07, 2006

Song of Myself

Everything that I hold dear, I hold it all for you.

The light warming my back as I knit in the sun. The smell of a passerby's perfume. (what scent was that?) The laugh I hear across the room. A hand brushed lightly across a knee.

The breeze that just lifted my scarf so gently, it flowed over her skin and his and hers. Around the corners and through the city until I know that it touched you, too.

It touched everyone. (as did the sun)

And I felt you sigh with me.

I recently discovered Walt Whitman and I am simply taken by his work. I can't imagine how I had never read anything of his before. And it's such happenstance that I even came across it.

Someone left a bunch of National Geographics in a local laundrymat and I happened to pick one up and start paging through it last week. I came upon an article about Walt Whitman and was drawn in by his lovely and evocative words. Key exerpts were paired with photos and a short story of his life. After reading and rereading portions of Song of Myself and other poems, I wanted to run out and buy a book of his work, but for reasons beyond my control I had to wait a few days.

So I ended up purchasing Leaves of Grass about five days later and had much time to read it. And when I say much time, I mean real, spacious, I-could-be-doing-anything-I-wanted-to time. You see I got to have a wonderful little vacation in Atlanta last week. Just Me, my lovely friend and Whitman.

So as I explored and strolled and hustled around Atlanta I always had Walt close at hand. I could sit down at any moment and open him up and be thrilled by his connection to the world. And know that I knew it all already, but needed him to point it out again. And I did pull him out frequently and let him take me to a higher level of mindfulness, sending shivers up my spine as I ascended.

But enough of Walt. I want to tell you about Atlanta.


Lori said...

Isn't he fabulous? Sometimes I forget about poetry. I need to get to the book store and pick some up for my January vacation! I'm glad you got some nice time for you!

Momo said...

Yes, it was great. Thanks, Lori :-)

Knitting Bandit said...

Wow! How could I have gone all my life without stumbling on Walt Whitmans words like I just did? I really feel touched by that, almost as if I were there. I will be readng more of his work! Thanks. I'm going to Atlanta in March on business and will have a day or two to myself, what's not to miss? Any good yarn stores? :)

Momo said...

Hey Bandita! See the Aquarium. It was beyond awesome. Little 5 Points was fun. There is an weekly magazine for Atlanta called Creative Loafing. You can search it (online) to see what's going on when you are staying there. I googled 3 or 4 yarn shops but didn't make it to any :-0

I think one of Whitman's aims was to inspire readers to see the world like he did, the beauty in small details, awareness on many levels of being, etc. So that's why I wrote the little poem above. It's a song of myself and some of the beauty that I feel when I feel connected with other people in the world. It's about me, my friend and all the lovely people in Atlanta. Sorry if I gave the impression that he wrote it.