Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 9: Dead Poet Friends, Walt Whitman, "O Me! O Life!"

Before I knew I was a poet, I loved Dead Poets Society.  I wanted to be Ethan Hawke in that movie.  I wanted a teacher like Robin Williams' Mr. Keating.  And I wanted a group of Dead Poet friends, sitting together in a cave, smoking, looking at dirty pictures, and reading poetry to each other.  (On a side note, a cousin who went to see the movie with me thought that I was more like Robert Sean Leonard than Ethan Hawke.  The suicidal actor instead of the poet.  I was a little dark as a teenager.)

Anyway, I think there was a part of me, even back then, that knew I was a poet.

That is my contribution to the powerful play of the world.

Saint Marty has been contributing his verse ever since.

O Me!  O Life!

by:  Walt Whitman

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

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