Thursday, May 12, 2005

Just Look

I love poetry. I love to read it, write it, and I love to write about reading it. That's what I do here. Poetry criticism is a challenge and a joy.

Then there are days like today where I feel as if I have nothing to say. Sometimes it is better just to read and let the poem sink into me; to let it have whatever impact it's going to have, and not worry about putting that experience into language.

This Walt Whitman poem over at The Academy of American Poets set me free today. It says everything I feel and wanted to put words to. It has done my work for me.

For today, anyway.

When I Heard the Learned Atronomer

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,
and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with
much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

Walt Whitman

Image found at the NASA web site.


MandT said...

delightful. You might want to check out I Am the HERMIT at It often has great poetry and beautiful art. It looks tec-down at the moment, but I'm sure that's temporary. Good luck mandt

David BC Tan said...

I've always liked this one by Whitman. I think it's profound in its simplicity.

Danny said...

Whitman's sense of wonder and childlike curiosity made him one of the most important poets in our time.

Not all things in the universe are needed to be understood, and in this particular poem, he relished it through his senses with awe and wonder.

Anonymous Poet said...

Thanks for sharing.

Roberta said...

That's a wonderful poem. Yes it is and I'm glad I stopped by to catch it. Thank you.

Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Thx for sharing. I enjoy Whitman and have seen this on the NASA site and earlier than the advent of the Internet.

Sometimes we all need to kick back, slow down, read, veg, or daydream... Relaxation is the key ("not worrying" like you said.)