Happy Pride everyone! 🏳️🌈
I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge pride month and a writer of the LGBTQ+ community before it was known as such who had a real impact on me as a college student. That writer is, Walt Whitman. I’m not going to turn this into a biography or study on him, but if you are unfamiliar with Walt Whitman, I encourage you to learn more about this American poet. Taken from Wikipedia:
Walter Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was controversial in its time, particularly his 1855 poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sensuality. Whitman’s own life came under scrutiny for his presumed homosexuality.Walt Whitman – Wikipedia
My introduction to Walt Whitman was during my second year of college in an English class as my professor Ed Minus had included Leaves of Grass, was part of our curriculum. Ed Minus was a great professor who really challenged me to find the deeper meaning in writing and I am grateful to have studied under him. At age 20, I was very much into poetry and writing quite a bit of it, so I was intrigued to read this collection. Since I am taking the time to write this post, you guess correctly that it had a real impact on me, specifically verse 52 from Song of Myself, which is as follows:
The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab and my loitering.
I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
The last scud of day holds back for me,
It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadow’d wilds,
It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.
I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,Walt Whitman – Song of Myself
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.
This verse always stuck with me. I love the element of acceptance and surrender along with how even though one passes away in bodily form; they are part of the world still and can be found if you simply know how or where to look. That really inspired and resonated with me.
Whitman is just one of many great artists and people who bring creativity, emotion, and inspiration to the world. Their efforts color the world and we all benefit from it. Thanks for taking the time to read this and always remember to live with love in your heart.