Friday, April 30, 2010

Weekend on the Farm

I had no time to put together a profile of my last rural poet, but he really needs no introduction. He is, of course, Walt Whitman, the first poet I read who found a way through words to encompass the vast skies and canyons of my childhood home. Enjoy this final rural poem, straight from the barbaric yawper himself:

The Prairie-Grass Dividing

The prairie-grass dividing, its special odor breathing,
I demand of it the spiritual corresponding,
Demand the most copious and close companionship of men,
Demand the blades to rise of words, acts, beings,
Those of the open atmosphere, coarse, sunlit, fresh, nutritious,
Those that go their own gait, erect, stepping with freedom and
command, leading not following,
Those with a never-quell'd audacity, those with sweet and lusty
flesh clear of taint,
Those that look carelessly in the faces of Presidents and governors,
as to say Who are you?
Those of earth-born passion, simple, never constrain'd, never obedient,
Those of inland America.

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