The origin of my Blog’s name.
I have never explained the origin of my Blog's name. When I was looking for a name that I could use in my Blog, I was looking for something close to the idea of nature, trees, leaves, grass … I enjoy the gentle sound of leaves drifting to the ground and being swept across my garden by the wind. The sound of leaves carefully falling to the grass and rustling in the wind is a soothing, delicious and peaceful sound to me. So this idea association lead me to a poem I read some times ago, the beautiful “Leaves of Grass”, by Walt Whitman. Hence just in that moment, the name of my Blog was born. I have been thinking to make a post with the poem "Leaves of Grass". Here they are.
Walt Whitman, "american poet, journalist and essayist, best known for “Leaves of Grass” (1855), was born in 31 May 1819, at West Hills, Huntington Township, New York, the second child of Walter Whitman, house builder, and Louisa Van Velsor, both descendants of early settlers on Long Island. Whitman spent his first few years on his family's farm in West Hills, Long Island, the second of eight children. When he was four, the family moved to Brooklyn where Whitman would receive all his formal education. By the age of twelve he had left school and begun an apprenticeship in the printing office of the Long Island Patriot, later moving to the Long Island Star. "
Whitman "was early on filled with a love of nature. He read classics in his youth and was inspired by writers such as Goethe, Hegel, Carlyle and Emerson. He left school early to become a printer's apprentice. He also in 1835 worked as a teacher and journeyman printer. After that he held a great variety of jobs while writing and editing for several periodicals, The Brooklyn Eagle from 1846 to 1848 and The Brooklyn Times from 1857 to 1858. In between he spent three months on a New Orleans paper, working for his father, and earning his living from undistinguished hack-work."
Whitman incorporated natural speech rhythms into poetry. He disregarded metric, but the overall effect has a melodic character. Whitman dies in 26 March 1892 at Mickle Street and was buried in Harleigh Cemetery, Camden, New Jersey.
Book II - Starting from Paumanok
11. As I have walk'd in Alabama my morning walk,
I have seen where the she-bird the mocking-bird sat on her nest in
the briers hatching her brood.
I have seen the he-bird also,
I have paus'd to hear him near at hand inflating his throat and
And while I paus'd it came to me that what he really sang for was
not there only,
Nor for his mate nor himself only, nor all sent back by the echoes,
But subtle, clandestine, away beyond,
A charge transmitted and gift occult for those being born.
Book IV. Children of Adam - I Sing the Body Electric
4. I have perceiv'd that to be with those I like is enough,
To stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,
To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh is enough,
To pass among them or touch any one, or rest my arm ever so lightly
round his or her neck for a moment, what is this then?
I do not ask any more delight, I swim in it as in a sea.
There is something in staying close to men and women and looking
on them, and in the contact and odor of them, that pleases the soul well,
All things please the soul, but these please the soul well.
Book VII - Song of the Open Road
1. Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.
The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.
(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill'd with them, and I will fill them in return.)
Book XXXIV. Sands at Seventy - Continuities
Nothing is ever really lost, or can be lost,
No birth, identity, form--no object of the world.
Nor life, nor force, nor any visible thing;
Appearance must not foil, nor shifted sphere confuse thy brain.
Ample are time and space--ample the fields of Nature.
The body, sluggish, aged, cold--the embers left from earlier fires,
The light in the eye grown dim, shall duly flame again;
The sun now low in the west rises for mornings and for noons continual;
To frozen clods ever the spring's invisible law returns,
With grass and flowers and summer fruits and corn.
Click to see a Portrait of Whitman
Record: this is a 36-second wax cylinder recording of what is thought to be Whitman's voice reading four lines from the poem "America." (in MP3 format).