20 November 2006

whitman says what i tried to say in my previous post in five brief lines of poetry:

Do you guess I have some intricate purpose?

Well I have . . . for the April rain has, and the mica on
the side of a rock has.

Do you take it I would astonish?

Does the daylight astonish? or the early redstart twittering
through the woods?

Do I astonish more than they?
(Leaves of Grass, "Song of Myself" 1855)

these things do astonish. but not in the sublime way niagara or kilimanjaro do. not like a soaring eagle or an intense sunset. simply because in all of their ordinariness and commonality, they are intricate and purposeful and lovely in the way that they fulfill the measure of their creation. they astonish. but they are utterly ordinary. they are ordinary. but they astonish. shouldn't that be true of each of us?

1 comment:

  1. I smiled, because I've been reading "Leaves of Grass," right before I go to bed and just finished this poem last week.

    Whitman is verbose, but I love the man, especially song of the open road. That's long been a fave.