Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie

One thing I've never actually read for leisure before is poetry. In fact, I've barely read any poetry ever. We kind of missed out the poetry section in my Higher English class in school. We should have studied To A Mouse by Robert Burns, but that never happened since we spent so much time on The Great Gatsby and Macbeth.

Now besides Rabbie Burns - who is obviously a national treasure - and maybe Shakespeare, I don't know of many other poets. So here's a little story:

When my brother and I were younger, if our parents told us to do something we didn't want to do we'd go "oh what? Man..." but because of how we said it it came out "aw whitman" and my mum used to say "who's Whitman?" and eventually told us that Whitman was an American poet at the turn of the century (she was studying English Literature at the time), so over the years I became pretty familiar with the name (apparently we must've said it quite a lot because that line describing him is pretty drummed into my head.

So because of this, naturally I took an interest when I saw that none other than Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass is on one of my lists of books.

I've downloaded it from Amazon, for the grand cost of absolutely nothing, onto my PC and phone and I've been reading little bits and pieces every so often whilst studying, and I actually think it's really great. You get the satisfaction of having read something without having to take the time out of doing work or the staying up all night to do so, and some of the lines are really amazing.

One which I picked up on, which has also been highlighted by a few other people is in a small poem "To the States" and goes something like this:

To the States or any one of them, or any city of the States, Resist
much, obey little,
Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved,
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever afterward resumes its liberty.

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