Saturday, July 11, 2009

The magical literary tour is coming to take you away...

A page from one of Walt Whitman's notebooks

First stop, the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site and Interpretive Center on Lon Guyland. I always thought that Camden was Walt Whitman central - there's even a major bridge spanning the Delaware named after Whitman although its eastern side is in Gloucester City, just south of Camden. The western side is in Philadelphia. Plus, when I was 18 I had an exhibit of my drawings and paintings at the Walt Whitman Poetry Center (since renamed the Walt Whitman Arts Center.) I have photos around somewhere as proof.

But back to Whitman, and why a huge honking bridge is named after him:

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself.
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detatched, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them.
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

More of the poetry of Walt Whitman