Poetry for a Cloudy Day


It was one of those days that you get in Autumn where it’s crisp and gloomy, with amazingly beautiful cloud formations, and for me these days have always been wonderful days for making art and reading poetry.
I did make art today, and I also read poetry.  My favorite non-feminist poet is Walt Whitman, so he and I shared a portion of the afternoon in Leaves of Grass.  I thought I would share some of his beautiful wordcraft with you.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

As Consequent (Etc.)

–Walt Whitman

As consequent from store of summer rains,

Or wayward rivulets in autumn flowing,

Or many a herb-lined brook’s reticulations,

Or subterranean sea-rills making for the sea,

Songs of continued years I sing.

Life’s ever-modern rapids first, (soon, soon to blend,

With the old streams of death.)

Some threading Ohio’s farm-fields or the woods,

Some down Colorado’s canons from sources of perpetual snow,

Some half-hid in Oregon, or away southward in Texas,

Some in the north finding their way to Erie, Niagara, Ottawa,

Some to Atlantica’s bays, and so the great salt brine.

In you whoe’er you are my book perusing

In I myself, in all the world, these currents flowing,

All, all toward the mystic ocean tending.

Currents for starting a continent new,

Overtures sent to the solid out of the liquid,

Fusion of ocean and land, tender and pensive waves,

(Not safe and peaceful only, waves rous’d and ominous too,

Out of the depths the storm’s abysmic waves, who knows whence?

Raging over the vast, with many a broken spar and tatter’d sail.)

Or from the seat of Time, collecting vasting all, I bring,

A window-drift of weeds and shells.

O little shells, so curious-convolute, so limpid-cold and voiceless,

Will you not little shells to the tympans of temples held,

Murmurs and echoes still call up, eternity’s music faint and far,

Wafted inland, sent from Atlantica’s rim, strains for the soul of the prairies

Whisper’d reverbertations, chords for the ear of the West joyously sounding,

Your tidings old, yet ever new and untranslatable,

Infinitesimals out of my life, and many a life,

(For not my life and years along I give — all, all I give,)

These waifs from the deep, cast high and dry,

Wash’d on America’s shores?

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Autumn blooming Clematis grown by Barbara Mattio. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2004

Autumn blooming Clematis grown by Barbara Mattio. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2004