July 15th, 2006


Poet's Corner: After the Sea-Ship

After the Sea-Ship

AFTER the Sea-Ship—after the whistling winds;
After the white-gray sails, taut to their spars and ropes,
Below, a myriad, myriad waves, hastening, lifting up their necks,
Tending in ceaseless flow toward the track of the ship:
Waves of the ocean, bubbling and gurgling, blithely prying,
Waves, undulating waves—liquid, uneven, emulous waves,
Toward that whirling current, laughing and buoyant, with curves,
Where the great Vessel, sailing and tacking, displaced the surface;
Larger and smaller waves, in the spread of the ocean, yearnfully flowing;
The wake of the Sea-Ship, after she passes—flashing and frolicsome, under the sun,
A motley procession, with many a fleck of foam, and many fragments,
Following the stately and rapid Ship—in the wake following.

Walt Whitman (1819–1892)

And my visit to the National Portrait Gallery continues to resonate. There was a Whitman gallery, filled with various portraits of Whitman and of some of his friends and followers. Also, I like Whitman. Who doesn't? Other than Homer Simpson, of course. And it seems as though I've been posting a lot of 20th and 21st Century poetry lately, so I thought maybe it was time to step back.