Sunday, September 12, 2010

Yawp, yawp, yawp, yawp . . .

. . . yawp yawp YAWP!

First, anybody know who this handsome young dude is?

That's right! It's our friend Walt Whitman, also known to me and my students as Uncle Walt, sometimes Gay Uncle Walt. I truly, truly heart Uncle Walt. He is into excess (soooo many words!), he has a bit of an ego, plus he is wonderful at detail and is deeply, DEEPLY in love with the world. Plus, without him we couldn't have had lots of other fabulous poets, like William Carlos Williams and Alan Ginsburg.

Why Uncle Walt right here and now? These lines:

"I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world."

Those words are close to the end of his crazy-ass, wonderfully intense and immense poem "Song of Myself," from his book LEAVES OF GRASS, published in 1855 (he self-published the first edition with his own money!). Every time I think writing is stupid (like today), or blogging is pointless (like a lot), I think of Whitman's words, and I take courage.

If he can yawp, I can yawp. Someone will hear us. And if not, we did it anyway. That's what matters.

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