Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Walt Whitman was born on this day in 1819

We have a mall named after him on Long Island, and a rest stop named after him on the New Jersey Turnpike. If you're really serious about him, check out The Walt Whitman Archive, where they even have a purported recording of his voice. And if you just wish you had read him, and always meant to, and maybe even keep a copy of Leaves of Grass by the bed, we offer this.

I Hear America Singing

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The woodcutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

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