Don't think you should need to know anything about Walt Whitman to read this. I barely do myself. If anyone who does know something about Whitman thinks he's rolling over in his grave over this poem let me know so I can have it put down.

Also: a brownie to anyone who comes up with a suitable Leaves of Grass pun for a title.


I've seen more of America than even Walt Whitman has seen.
I've communed with the redwood,
scanned the Appalachian canopy,
googled Pacific seabeds,
and yet never saw a thing that looked like an American Dream.

But Whit alleges that he found that Dream
filling each crevice in every boulder,
in the living moss of every tree,
in each wave that licked the cream from the tips of any coastline.
(And all this without the aid of digital display or LCD).

Don't object that parties, presidents or hipsters
have since tapped the American amygdala dry,
nor that my iPad simply lacks sufficient pixels to capture the grit
of that Idaho potato soil on my fingers
for due and appropriate indulgence.
No, if I was there with Whit,
holding hands and sharing the air,
where I saw highway 137 meeting I92 West towards infinity,
he'd see ridged horizons for my generation of young American pioneers
to ascend and subsume and be subsumed into.
And reclining on the countryside and furrowed in the grass,
he could rest his eyes - never dreaming
or having to know what we would find
if we tried -
and yearn after it.
Last edited by sjada at Jun 5, 2013,