Oct. 22, 2002

Song of Myself (excerpt)

by Walt Whitman

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Poem: lines from "Song of Myself," by Walt Whitman.

Song of Myself

Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son,
Turbulent, fleshy, sensual, eating, drinking and breeding,
No sentimentalist, no stander above men and women or apart
        from them,
No more modest than immodest.

Unscrew the locks from the doors!
Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!

Whoever degrades another degrades me,
And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.

Through me the afflatus surging and surging, through me the
        current and index.

I speak the pass-word primeval, I give the sign of democracy,
By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their
        counterpart of on the same terms.

Through me many long dumb voices,
Voices of the interminable generations of prisoners and slaves,
Voices of the diseas'd and despairing and of thieves and
Voices of cycles of preparation and accretion,
And of the threads that connect the stars, and of wombs and
        of the father-stuff,
And of the rights of them the others are down upon,
Of the deform'd, trivial, flat, foolish, despised,
Fog in the air, beetles rolling balls of dung.
Through me forbidden voices,
Voices of sexes and lusts, voices veil'd and I remove the veil,
Voices indecent by me clarified and transfigur'd.

It's the birthday of virtuoso pianist and composer Franz Liszt, born in Raiding, Hungary (1811). He invented the idea of the piano recital, and toured the world performing some of the most complex piano music ever written. He's well known for his Symphonic Poem #3, "Les Préludes."

It's the birthday of portraitist Henriette Wyeth, born in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania (1907), the oldest daughter of the famous American painter N.C. Wyeth. She had a ranch in New Mexico and she used to invite some of the wealthiest men and women in the country to visit and to play polo and to be painted by her.

It's the birthday of Dr. Charles Glen King, who discovered the chemical make-up of Vitamin C in 1932. He was born in Washington in 1896. Humans are one of the relatively few species whose bodies do not manufacture their own Vitamin C. Some other species include: the guinea pig, the rainbow trout, and the Indian fruit-eating bat.

According to William Miller, on this day in 1844, the world was supposed to end. Miller founded the Seventh-Day Adventist church, and he gained thousands of followers when he predicted that Armageddon was going to take place on April 3rd, 1843. When nothing happened, he pushed it ahead a few months. Still, nothing happened. All of his followers got together and settled on October 22, 1844. People quit their jobs and gave away all their things. Wearing white robes, they climbed a mountain and waited, but the moment came and nothing happened. They finally gave up on their leader and formed their own Adventist church, which is still around today.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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