Here's's a virtual movie of the great Walt Whitman reading another of his extraordinary philosophical poems "A Child Said, What is the Grass" first published in 1855 edition of his lifelong masterpiece of Philosophical thoughts and poems "Leaves of Grass". The title "Leaves of Grass" is a play on words. The word "leaves" meant "pages" in his poems, and "grass" represented his life's observations from life to death.
WALT WHITMAN'S mission differed from that of other poets. The expression of lyrical beauty was not his aim, for his poetry lacks the background of legend, myth, euphemism or rhyme. He made no attempt to clarify ideas, but sought to bring the reader into the atmosphere of thought, leaving him there to pursue his own flight.
He dissected the mind of his race with the delicate fingers of a surgeon of souls. Fearlessly he attacked the cancerous growth of materialism, the worship of false idols, the superstitions of the churches, the separative tendency of creeds and sects, the despairing hold of the people on departed models of obedience and compulsion. He visioned the future in terms of solidarity, and it was to these prophetic years that he sang his songs. He penned his words for future minds and dedicated them to the Culminating Man, to the new Empire of Spiritual Manhood, built upon the foundation of Universal Brotherhood, without distinction of race, creed, caste or color.
Walt Whitman's poetry is a declaration of the principles which he felt would revolutionize the world if they were accepted and put into practice
Walt Whitman (1819-1892 was born in Long Island, New York, the son of a Quaker carpenter. Whitman's mother was descended from Dutch farmers. In Whitman's childhood there were slaves employed on the farm. Whitman was early on filled with a love of nature.
PLEASE NOTE - The image used in this animation is not actually Walt Whitman it is a lookalike of Walt Whitman and is not to my knowledge a copyrighted image please write to me if you have bonafide information to the contrary. at my email address of email@example.com
Walt Whitman (1819-1892 was born in Long Island, New York, the son of a Quaker carpenter. Whitman's mother was descended from Dutch farmers. In Whitman's childhood there were slaves employed on the farm. Whitman was early on filled with a love of nature. He read classics in his youth and was inspired by writers such as Goethe, Hegel, Carlyle and Emerson he is best remembered for his long rambling collections of verse "Leaves of grass
Here is an example from his poem:
"A child said what is grass?
Fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child?
I do not know what it is
any more than he.
Whitman comes to this thoughtful conclusion:
"I guess the grass is itself a child,
the produced babe of vegetation."
As Whitman grows older, he perceives the grass in this way:
"And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.
The grass is very dark to me from the white heads of old mothers,
darker than the colorless beards of old men."
What do you think, has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?"
They are alive and well somewhere, the smallest sprout (grass)
shows there is really no death."
Because it is hard for Whitman to accept that all life ends up under the grass, or common grave, he answers his own questions from his own inner child.
All rights are reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2014
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