Friday, July 29, 2011

The Morning Reading: "dismiss whatever insults your own soul"

from the preface of Leaves of Grass

~ Walt Whitman

This is what you shall do;
Love the earth and sun and the animals,
despise riches,
give alms to every one that asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others,
hate tyrants,
argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the people,
take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men,
go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families,
read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life,
re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book,
dismiss whatever insults your own soul,
and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words
but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes
and in every motion and joint of your body.


(I love the spirit of this - and was reminded of it recently by the beauty we love.)


sonicwendy said...

Nice, the prefacing phrase that qualifies your excerpted title:" all you have been told at school or church or in any book..."
Thank you Uncle Walt, via Lisa.

Lou said...

"love the earth and sun and the animals"


Michelle Arch said...

I will be studying Leaves of Grass as part of an Early American Literature course at Chapman this fall and look forward to it even more after reading this. I love the notion of "dismiss[ing] whatever insults your own soul." Thanks for posting, Lisa.

Rebel Girl said...

Thanks for reading!

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