Sunday, February 24, 2013

Whitman: Great is the earth (9 days to DR. BIRD)

In Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets, James finds himself challenged to be optimistic when he learns something grim about his sister Jorie. But no amount of Whitman seems to be able to give him guidance -- or keep him from succumbing to his own depression.

"Great is the earth, and the way it became what it is,
Do you imagine it is stopped at this? . . . . and the increase abandoned?
Understand then that it goes as far onward from this as this is from the times when it lay in covering waters and gases.

Great is the quality of truth in man,
The quality of truth in man supports itself through all changes,
It is inevitably in the man . . . . He and it are in love, and never leave each other." [1855]

"The quality of truth in man supports itself through all changes"