I still don’t quite understand….Walt Whitman’s use of….ellipses and the word soul, though I do understand why the word (I almost typed world, which is cool) soul is central to the poet. Though it’s much more than that, more timeless, more than I can write at this moment with the time and space I have. The wor(l)d deserves more.
The other night, I read “Song of Myself” out loud. The whole thing. I usually don’t read things out loud. I don’t talk a whole lot (at least in terms of understood, articulate speech). I have been mapping my conversation patterns (in my head, of course) lately. I listen and look….a lot. I just listen and move my body so as to say that I care. My close friends, though, always teach me how to talk, which is why they’re my close friends, and I love them. I love others, too, because Walt introduced me to equanimity.
Reading for hours was exhausting for my voice but entirely liberating for my soul. It’s ironic that this poem about “self” was read by my “self,” and that in reading it to my “self” I, maybe for the first time, actually gave my(self) a chance for a long conversation with inner boiling feelings and love for people. This conversation made me realize how much I want to say but also how much my voice doesn’t let me, or rather, what my accoucheur “potentialized” in me at birth – that I would articulate life, which now I realize is articulated in many ways.
But what an advocate for the POET! I don’t always consider my self one, but I think the salty liquid flowing out of my face when I read this collection of poems thinks otherwise, turns inward on its self.
So, anyway, I’m reading “Song of Myself” all the while thinking of what the song of my own self would sound like. Then I came to “It is you talking just as much as myself….I act as the tongue of you,/It was tied in your mouth….in mine it begins to be loosened.” Maybe you can imagine the swelling within me, but just then I read it over and over and listened to the sound of my own voice, and therefore understood the explosion….for a better word in me, the poet and his/her (seemingly) worthless miniscule leaves of grass that can become a collection of sorts, a book, or a conversation, or, my favorite, “the roughs and beards (!) and space and ruggedness and nonchalance that the soul loves.”
Thanks for listening, my friend, whenever I keep talking about my self.
Forever your poet-hypocrite lover-of-our-souls,