Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Voice of America
Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass

When you read Walt Whitman you wish he’d been the one chosen when some cities were all reading the same book. Remember that? We need to be reading him. He wouldn’t be wearing a Fox or an MSNBC T shirt if he were here. Not a hat that said Brooks or Krugman on it either. He transcended that kind of smallness. He was big. So big you feel small when you read him. Where did he get his expansiveness? Where did he get his confidence? Where did he get his love?

I’m reading him on the subway in the morning now. It’s quite a scene to raise your eyes from the book’s pages and see the American faces on their way to work.

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