April 28, 2013

Leaves of Grass: An Excerpt

by Walt Whitman 

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? ... I do not know what it is any more
        than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see
        and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child... the produced babe of the

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I
         receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

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