Saturday, February 23, 2013

Whitman: Great is youth (10 days to DR. BIRD)

Here's Whitman again helping to celebrate the imminent release of Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets, which focuses on a boy named James who recites Leaves of Grass to cheer himself up. (The results are mixed.)

"Great is youth, and equally great is old age . . . . great are the day and night;
Great is wealth and great is poverty . . . . great is expression and great is silence.

Youth large lusty and loving . . . . youth full of grace and force and fascination,
Do you know that old age may come after you with equal grace and force and fascination?

Day fullblown and splendid . . . . day of the immense sun, and action and ambition and laughter,
The night follows close, with millions of suns, and sleep and restoring darkness." [1855]

"and equally great is old age...."