2002-11-13 14:03:08 ET
I've never read Whitman before, but I checked him out and I really like it. The writing feels really thematic and extensive, while maintaining a focus. I think a feeling of concentration comes through by his poetic timing and wording. I like this:
"Clear and sweet is my Soul, and clear and sweet is
all that is not my Soul."
or this longer one:
"Trippers and askers surround me;
People I meet — the effect upon me of my early life, or
the ward and city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies,
authors old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman
The sickness of one of my folks, or of myself, or ill-
doing, or loss or lack of money, or depressions
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of
doubtful news, the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights, and go from me
But they are not the Me myself."
It feels like the type of thing I was reading yesterday on Marx and Engels. I know that sounds kinda typical, but now I'm getting a clearer view on where they were coming from, primarily with the idea that the product of the day defines the culture of the day. I think 'product' in this sense means material innovation and discoveries provide the life we live, while we hold strong to the idea of individuality, for better or for worse.
Oh, that guy was from Sacramento...I think. He was really nice. Nice people are an enourmous inspiration.