~for Isabel, Alex & Wendy, Theo & Rose~
be reading Whitman and Hafiz,
adding some Shelley and Frost,
for (no salt) seasoning, might add in
a biblical, King Solomon’s be-loved,
sugared Song of Songs…
won’t need to go far, on my nightstand,
search & reach, to love and preach to
generations next, a lesson last & simple:
read, read, read there by learning,
how to first define, then preserve the
variety of feelings rising from within!
here’s a starter morsel from Walt,
sort of a summary of how to do it,
all well and proper…
”This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families,
read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life,. re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
Preface to Leaves of Grass, 1855.
Walt Whitman, c.1887.
August 2 2023
readying for surgery