Nature Photos and a Morning with Whitman   2 comments

Beebalm (1 of 1) II blog

Beebalm (1 of 1)-2 II blogBeebalm Wildflower (Oracle Ridge Trail, August 5, 2016)– Image by kenne

I’m reading Whitman this morning and one my favorite selections is the first stanza in
“Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking,” one sentence, twenty-two lines long.

Out of the cradle endlessly rocking,
Out of the mocking-bird’s throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the Ninth-month midnight,
Over the sterile sands and the fields beyond, where the child
     leaving his bed wander’d alone, bareheaded, barefoot,
Down from the shower’d halo,
Up from the mystic play of shadows twining and twisting as if
     they were alive,
Out from the patches of briers and blackberries,
From the memories of the bird that chanted to me,
From your memories sad brother, from the fitful risings and
     fallings I heard,
From under that yellow half-moon late-risen and swollen as if
     with tears,
From those beginning notes of yearning and love there in
     the mist,
From the thousand responses of my heart never to cease,
From the myriad thence-arous’d words,
From the word stronger and more delicious than any,
From such as now they start the scene revisiting,
As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing,
Borne hither, ere all eludes me, hurriedly,
A man, yet by these tears a little boy again,
Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves,
I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter,
Taking all hints to use them, but swiftly leaping beyond them,
A reminiscence sing.

— Walt Whitman

2 responses to “Nature Photos and a Morning with Whitman

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  1. If you read “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking” out loud, it is overwhelmingly powerful. Pairing it with this photo of bee balm and the blackness of the insect is interesting.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. For years the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council has been celebrating Whitman’s birthday by reading favorite Whitman poems. The last few years I have not been in Conroe, Texas during May, but the next time I’m able to be part of the birthday celebration this will be my selection. Thanks for the suggestion.

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