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amreading Poems

Walt Whitman: Great are the Myths pt.9


Great is the greatest nation..the nation of clusters of

equal nations.

Great is the earth, and the way it became what it is,

Do you imagine it is stopped at this?….and the increase

abandoned?

Understand then that it goes as far onward from this as

this is from the times when it lay in covering waters

and gases.

Great is the quality of truth in man,

The quality of truth in man supports itself through all

changes,

It is inevitably in the man….He and it are in love, and

never leave each other.


A bit about Whitman the man:

Whitman was a Brooklyn native. He was born in West Hills, Huntington Township, New York, but his father moved the family to Brooklyn in search of building work.

His background is a familiar one to writers of all generations.

He held down various day jobs – office boy, teacher, printer, freelance journalist.

He worked for a variety of papers in New York City – the Aurora and Evening Tattler (How could you not read a paper named the Evening Tattler?) among them. He even ran a housebuilding business.

Throughout this time though he was writing, publishing poems, literary prose and sketches.

Relentless.

From: Leaves of Grass 150th Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics), pgs.157,158

and Walt Whitman: Poetry and Prose (Library of America) pgs. 1347,1348

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