Meditation and Poetics – (Walt Whitman Lists – 5)

“..Off on the lakes the pike-fisher watches and waits by the hole in the frozen surface”

AG: I wanted to finish (by) comparing that (Christopher Smart) with what will come after, which is haiku, (but, first),  I want to finish our catalog in (Walt) Whitman now, both for the tongue-ing of the line  (that.. (the) awareness of sound and vowel amd consonantal kick-up) and for accuracy of observation, as well as for those funny logical jumps and sort of querulous personal noticings, oddities and eccentricities of unborn spontaneous mind.

(Allen continues/concludes his reading from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”, section 15.   here, here, here and here)

“The floor-men are laying the floor, the tinners are tinning the roof, the masons are calling for mortar,/ In single file each shouldering his hod pass onward the laborers;/Seasons pursuing each other the indescribable crowd is gather’d/it is the fourth of Seventh-month, (what salutes of cannon and small arms!) /Seasons pursuing each other the plougher ploughs, the mower mows, and the winter-grain falls in the ground,/ Off on the lakes the pike-fisher watches and waits by the hole in the frozen surface,/The stumps stand thick round the clearing, the squatter strikes deep with his axe,/ Flatboatmen make fast toward dusk near the cotton-wood or the pecan-trees,/Coon-seekers go through the regions of the Red river or through those drain’d by the Tennessee, or through those of the Arkansas,/ Torches shine in the dark that hangs on the Chattahooche or Altamahaw,/Patriarchs sit at supper with sons and grandsons and great-grand-sons around them,/In walls of adobe, in canvas tents, rest hunters and trappers after their day’s sport,/the City sleeps and the country sleeps”- (a sudden short line) – “The living sleep for their time, the dead sleep for their time,/ The old husband sleeps by his wife and the young husband sleeps by his wife,/ And these tend inward to me, and I tend outward to them,/ And such as it is to be of these more or less I am,/ And of these one and all I weave the song of myself.”

Well, what we found there was some kind of particularity, and, at the same time, vast gaps of mind in between the particulars.

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