Saturday, March 18, 2017

March 18: Walt Whitman Reading, Mona Van Duyn, "Letter From a Father: VI"

This afternoon, I'm reading at the Carnegie Library in my hometown.  A bunch of people are getting together for a communal recitation of Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself."  It's a long poem, and it's going to take two hours to get through it.

The event is called Read, Resist:  A Reading of Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself."  If you're not familiar with the poem, it's all about inclusiveness and acceptance.  The great immigrant soup of America.  Whitman spoke for everybody--man, woman, African American, white, gay, straight, Methodist minister, Catholic, infant, dying man. 

Really, that's what poetry is all about, though.  Giving a voice to the voiceless.  Mona Van Duyn does it.

Saint Marty tried to do it, too.

Letter From a Father

by:  Mona Van Duyn
It’s sure a surprise how well Mother is doing,
she forgets her laxative but bowels move fine.
Now that windows are open she says our birds sing
all day. The girl took a Book of Knowledge on loan
from the library and I am reading up
on the habits of birds, did you know some males have three
wives, some migrate some don’t. I am going to keep
feeding all spring, maybe summer, you can see
they expect it. Will need thistle seed for Goldfinch and Pine
Siskin next winter. Some folks are going to come see us
from Church, some bird watchers, pretty soon.
They have birds in town but nothing to equal this.

So the world woos its children back for an evening kiss.

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