Saturday, August 25, 2007

Walt Whitman For August 28th Eclipse In Pisces

Of the Terrible Doubt of Appearances

Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
Of the uncertainty after all—that we may be deluded,
That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only,
May-be the things I perceive—the animals, plants, men, hills, shining and flowing waters,
The skies of day and night—colors, densities, forms—May-be these are, (as doubtless they are,) only apparitions, and the real something has yet to be known;
(How often they dart out of themselves, as if to confound me and mock me!
How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows, aught of them;)
May-be seeming to me what they are, (as doubtless they indeed but seem,) as from my present point of view—And might prove, (as of course they would,) naught of what they appear, or naught any how, from entirely changed points of view;
—To me, these, and the like of these, are curiously answer’d by my lovers, my dear friends;
When he whom I love travels with me, or sits a long while holding me by the hand,
When the subtle air, the impalpable, the sense that words and reason hold not, surround us and pervade us,
Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom—I am silent—I require nothing further,
I cannot answer the question of appearances, or that of identity beyond the grave;
But I walk or sit indifferent—I am satisfied,
He ahold of my hand has completely satisfied me.

Walt Whitman
(1819-1892)


6 comments:

una said...

What would Walt Whitman say about the American mess surrounding us?

Barbara said...

I haven't the foggiest :-)

Seti said...

i got to see this eclipse.. it was magic, it turned the normally disc-like appearance of the moon into something viscerally spherical, like a huge red balloon suspended 3km over the city illuminated by the city lights, the optical illusion aspect was amazing, best lunar eclipse i've seen yet by far! it lasted more than an hour! -i won't forget that "red ball"..

Eme Kah said...

Beautiful! Thanks.

Barbara said...

That description of the eclipse gave me goose bumps. Fabulous!

tumblewords said...

As I re-read Whitman's words, I think he may have had thoughts about the mess that covers the globe. Seems like we're in a bind, for sure.

Seti's description of the eclipse was magical. I saw it myself, but could not have described it in such glowing words.

Nice post, Barbara!