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Barbara1951

Barbara1951

Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman 9-9-11 Whitman's enthusiasm is exhausting--simply antithetical to my personality.

And...having just written that I don't get bent out of shape at Kipling's racism, sexism, fascism...I cannot refrain from taking issue with Whitman's glorification of the genocide of Native Americans.

The red aborigines,
Leaving natural breaths, sounds of rain and winds, calls as of birds
and animals in the woods, syllabled to us for names,
Okonee, Koosa, Ottawa, Monongahela, Sauk, Natchez, Chattahoochee,
Kaqueta, Oronoco,
Wabash, Miami, Saginaw, Chippewa, Oshkosh, Walla-Walla,
Leaving such to the States they melt, they depart, charging the
water and the land with names.

17
Expanding and swift, henceforth,
Elements, breeds, adjustments, turbulent, quick and audacious,
A world primal again, vistas of glory incessant and branching,
A new race dominating previous ones and grander far, with new
contests,
New politics, new literatures and religions, new inventions and arts

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9-19-11 I want some discrimination! Everything is everything. Oh, OK.
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Hey, found some I like!:

"I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and
self-contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of
owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of
years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth."

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By and large, Whitman's obsession with physicality, with sex ... (and I genuinely care not about gender) distances me from other messages. But I am TRYING. I WILL get through this by December 31.
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10-7-11
Song of the Broad-axe (5)
"Where the populace rise at once against the never-ending audacity of
elected persons,
Where the populace rise at once against the never-ending audacity of
elected persons,
Where fierce men and women pour forth as the sea to the whistle of
death pours its sweeping and unript waves,
Where outside authority enters always after the precedence of inside
authority,
Where the citizen is always the head and ideal, and President,
Mayor, Governor and what not, are agents for pay,"

It's time.
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10-23-11 The Civil War poems are wrenching.
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11-6-11 "(the same
monotonous old song.)"
Ah...yup.
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11-12-11 As description of a time in America, can't be surpassed. But the EGO! Urgh.
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11-28-11 and DONE
The ego never wanes. It's ALL-ABOUT-WALT. I am so glad to be finished. I am not a Walt Whitman fan. But I have now read Leaves of Grass. I'm edgucaited. :-)