Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Romanticism + Regionalism

live oak moss string
I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green,
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
But I wondered how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without
its friend near, for I knew I could not,
And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it, and twined
around it a little moss,
And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight, in my room,
It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,
(For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,)
Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;
For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana solitary in
a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
I know very well I could not.

[Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass, photo by Francine Stock]


Michele said...


Francine Stock said...


Walt Whitman spent 3 months in New Orleans in 1848 working for the Crescent newspaper. read on.....


Francine Stock said...

"New Orleans in 1848: Walt Whitman Gossips of His Sojourn Here Years Ago as a Newspaper Writer"

Times-Picayune 01-25-1887

Metairie Homes For Sale said...

such a great poem. i love the fact that he lived here.