Thursday, November 01, 2007

To Be a Great Poem

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning god, have patience and indulgence toward the people, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul--and your very flesh shall be a great poem.

Source: Preface to Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

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2 comments:

Wayne Stratz said...

a great quote, a bit timely. what I struggle with at this time is considering my safety in the midst of these beliefs as it applies to my classroom. It was a very rough Thursday morning, one of the roughest in 20 years of teaching.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that. I'd never read it before and it brings tears to my eyes. Thank you.