ur-stargaziing asked: Hey! Just saw this bit of the Whitman's Song of the open road, hope you don't mind if I ask this silly question about it, I'm studying it in American Litterature, but I don't get who Walt is referring to when he talks about the Companions? Do you? Thanks for any answer!! xx
Thanks for asking!
From what I can understand, Whitman is attempting to relate himself (the great “I” of Leaves of Grass) to these unnamed “companions.” The French word Allons gives the idea that Whitman is asking for the reader to chase after these epic travelers and follow them in their path through life. He goes on to describe all the great things they have achieved, and praises their masculinity, femininity, seemingly fearless proximity to death.
My understanding is that these Great Companions are Whitman’s version of the Greek heroes of old: they are the penultimate achievers and explorers of humankind and should be models for our own lives. At the same time, due to his being influenced by the Transcendentalist movement (specifically Ralph Waldo Emerson), it is not too crazy to assume that Whitman believes that these Great Companions inhabit us just as we inhabit them.
That is my two cents on the passage, at least.
ihatethelettuce asked: i don't know who runs this, but you should come back and keep running it.
Unfortunately, the person who mainly ran it had to pass over responsibility to the rest of us lazy folks. I’ll get on posting some new stuff here soon, though! I promise. I’ll open up submissions as well.
”If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred.” —Walt Whitman
Closer yet I approach you;
What thought you have of me, I had as much of you—I laid in my stores in advance;
I consider’d long and seriously of you before you were born.
Who was to know what should come home to me?
Who knows but I am enjoying this?
Who knows but I am as good as looking at you now, for all you cannot see me?
It is not you alone, nor I alone;
Not a few races, nor a few generations, nor a few centuries;
It is that each came, or comes, or shall come, from its due emission,
From the general centre of all, and forming a part of all:
Everything indicates—the smallest does, and the largest does;
A necessary film envelopes all, and envelopes the Soul for a proper time.
—from "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"
"I too felt the curious abrupt questionings stir within me,
In the day, among crowds of people, sometimes they came upon me,
In my walks home late at night, or as I lay in my bed, they came upon me."
from "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"
"Dazzling and tremendous how quick the sun-rise would kill me, if I could not now and always send sun-rise out of me."
Walt Whitman - Leaves of Grass
"…I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple–or a green field—a place to enter, and in which to feel. Only in a secondary way is it an intellectual thing—an artifact, a moment of seemly and robust wordiness—wonderful as that part of it is. I learned that the poem was made not just to exist, but to speak—to be company. It was everything that was needed, when everything was needed."
on poetry (via lademarche
"I too with my soul and body,
We, a curious trio, picking, wandering on our way,
Through these shores, amid the shadows, with the apparitions pressing, Pioneers! O
Walt Whitman, from “Pioneers! O Pioneers!
” (via proustitute