Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Leaves of Grass - A Paddy Field

This picture of a Rice Field, with the crop standing, constantly reminds me of the "Leaves of Grass" of Walt Whitman.....

"A child said What is grass? fetching it to one 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 the hopeful green stuff woven.
of I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners,
that we may see and remark, and say Whose?...
And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves."

A Poem by Walt Whitman (His Life excerpt here..)

Leaves of Grass (1855) is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman. Among the poems in the collection are "Song of Myself," "I Sing the Body Electric," "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," and in later editions, Whitman's elegy to the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd." This book is notable for its delight in and praise of the senses during a time when such candid displays were considered immoral. Where much previous poetry, especially English, relied on symbolism, allegory, and meditation on the religious and spiritual, Leaves of Grass (particularly the first edition) exalted the body and the material world. Influenced by the Transcendentalist movement, itself an offshoot of Romanticism, Whitman's poetry praises nature and the individual human's role in it. However, Whitman does not diminish the role of themind or the spirit; rather, he elevates the human form and the human mind, deeming both worthy of poetic praise. (From Wikipedia)

What can be written of Walt Whitman that has not already been pondered or researched? The good, gray poet is an American literary icon. Leaves of Grass was his opus, his life's work. He originally published the collection of poems himself in 1855 and proceeded to submit anonymous reviews extolling the book's greatness to magazines and newspapers.
The ordinary becomes extraordinary in Whitman's perspective as he gladly and patiently passes that perspective on to his readers. He calls to them still :

"I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles... " (Source

The Entire Leaves of Grass can be read here.
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My other Picture Posts of Rice/Paddy Fields - here, here, here and here.