Dinner with Walt

all things Walt Whitman

Dinner with Walt - all things Walt Whitman

The 41st Year, In Paths Untrodden

 

I sit alone in the peace, brilliance and grandeur of Nature,

 

I sit today, the end of the eighth month of 2012, at the very beginning of my 41st year,

 

I sit loafing, unanxious, absolved from the daily turbulence,

 

I sit to nurture, rejuvenate and energize my soul,

 

I sit observing as witness and recorder:  a dozen or more geese pass overheard in a perfect “V” formation, honking their call as they soar past. Busy, buzzing honeybee’s gather nectar from the bright yellow sun-kissed wildflowers; a gentle breeze rustles through the tree tops, loosening leaves already tinged in Fall colors. The clear cold water from the stream tickles my bare feet, impeding the ever-flowing, swirling ebb, the water slows momentarily to greet me with an exuberant, animated and splashy ‘good day’ then retreats on to the next who is due the same sparkling embrace.

 

I sit dreaming of a visionary, otherworldly poet who is long-dead, but who today, is very alive and is here with me. I sense his presence in the in the peacefulness and beauty of the morning, the radiant orange orb ever rising in the East, brightening the day. I sense his presence in the birds that sing, the breeze the blows and the countless insects that chirp, shrill and buzz. He is everywhere this day.

 

I sit and recall a befitting Whitman poem, In Paths Untrodden. The intro poem to the Calamus cluster of poems in Leaves of Grass; it’s a poem to be savored any day, but is today a gift to me.

 

I sit with open invitation, join us friend, cheer Whitman’s gift, In Paths Untrodden

 

In paths untrodden,

In the growth by margins of pond-waters,

Escaped from the life that exhibits itself,

From all the standards hitherto publish’d—from the

pleasures, profits, conformities,

Which too long I was offering to feed my Soul;

Clear to me, now, standards not yet publish’d—clear

to me that my Soul,

That the Soul of the man I speak for, feeds, rejoices

in comrades;

Here, by myself, away from the clank of the world,

Tallying and talk’d to here by tongues aromatic,

No longer abash’d—for in this secluded spot I can

respond as I would not dare elsewhere,

Strong upon me the life that does not exhibit itself,

yet contains all the rest,

Resolv’d to sing no songs to-day but those of manly

attachment,

Projecting them along that substantial life,

Bequeathing, hence, types of athletic love,

Afternoon, this delicious Ninth-month, in my forty-

first year,

I proceed, for all who are, or have been, young men,

To tell the secret of my nights and days,

To celebrate the need of comrades.

 

 

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