Chamblee54

Calamus Part Two

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on August 25, 2011




The Base of All Metaphysics

And now gentlemen,
A word I give to remain in your memories and minds,
As base and finale too for all metaphysics.
(So to the students the old professor,
At the close of his crowded course.)
Having studied the new and antique, the Greek and Germanic systems,
Kant having studied and stated, Fichte and Schelling and Hegel,
Stated the lore of Plato, and Socrates greater than Plato,
And greater than Socrates sought and stated, Christ divine having studied long,
I see reminiscent to-day those Greek and Germanic systems,
See the philosophies all, Christian churches and tenets see,
Yet underneath Socrates clearly see, and underneath Christ the divine I see,
The dear love of man for his comrade, the attraction of friend to friend,
Of the well-married husband and wife, of children and parents,
Of city for city and land for land.

Recorders Ages Hence

Recorders ages hence,
Come, I will take you down underneath this impassive exterior,
I will tell you what to say of me,
Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover,
The friend the lover’s portrait, of whom his friend his lover was fondest,
Who was not proud of his songs, but of the measureless ocean of love within him,
  and freely pour’d it forth,
Who often walk’d lonesome walks thinking of his dear friends, his lovers,
Who pensive away from one he lov’d often lay sleepless and dissatisfied at night,
Who knew too well the sick, sick dread lest the one he lov’d might
secretly be indifferent to him,
Whose happiest days were far away through fields, in woods, on hills,
he and another wandering hand in hand, they twain apart from other men,
Who oft as he saunter’d the streets curv’d with his arm the shoulder of his friend,
while the arm of his friend rested upon him also.

When I Heard at the Close of the Day

When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv’d
with plaudits in the capitol,
still it was not a happy night for me that follow’d,
And else when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d,
still I was not happy,
But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health,
refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light,
When I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing bathed,
laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way coming,
O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish’d me more,
and the beautiful day pass’d well,
And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly
continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me
whispering to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast—and that night I was happy.

Are You the New Person Drawn Toward Me?

Are you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with take warning, I am surely far different from what you suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy’d satisfaction?
Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this facade, this smooth and tolerant manner of me?
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man?
Have you no thought O dreamer that it may be all maya, illusion?

Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone

Roots and leaves themselves alone are these,
Scents brought to men and women from the wild woods and pond-side,
Breast-sorrel and pinks of love,
fingers that wind around tighter than vines,
Gushes from the throats of birds hid in the foliage of trees as the sun is risen,
Breezes of land and love set from living shores to you on the living sea,
to you O sailors!
Frost-mellow’d berries and Third-month twigs offer’d fresh to young
persons wandering out in the fields when the winter breaks up,
Love-buds put before you and within you whoever you are,
Buds to be unfolded on the old terms,
If you bring the warmth of the sun to them they will open and bring form,
color, perfume, to you,
If you become the aliment and the wet they will become flowers,
fruits, tall branches and trees.




Not Heat Flames Up and Consumes

Not heat flames up and consumes,
Not sea-waves hurry in and out,
Not the air delicious and dry, the air of ripe summer,
bears lightly along white down-balls of myriads of seeds,
Waited, sailing gracefully, to drop where they may;
Not these, O none of these more than the flames of me, consuming,
burning for his love whom I love,
O none more than I hurrying in and out;
Does the tide hurry, seeking something, and never give up? O I the same,
O nor down-balls nor perfumes, nor the high rain-emitting clouds,
are borne through the open air,
Any more than my soul is borne through the open air,
Wafted in all directions O love, for friendship, for you.

Trickle Drops

Trickle drops! my blue veins leaving!
O drops of me! trickle, slow drops,
Candid from me falling, drip, bleeding drops,
From wounds made to free you whence you were prison’d,
From my face, from my forehead and lips,
From my breast, from within where I was conceal’d,
press forth red drops, confession drops,
Stain every page, stain every song I sing, every word I say, bloody drops,
Let them know your scarlet heat, let them glisten,
Saturate them with yourself all ashamed and wet,
Glow upon all I have written or shall write, bleeding drops,
Let it all be seen in your light, blushing drops.

City of Orgies

City of orgies, walks and joys,
City whom that I have lived and sung in your midst will one day make
Not the pageants of you, not your shifting tableaus,
your spectacles, repay me,
Not the interminable rows of your houses, nor the ships at the wharves,
Nor the processions in the streets,
nor the bright windows with goods in them,
Nor to converse with learn’d persons, or bear my share in the soiree or feast;
Not those, but as I pass O Manhattan,
your frequent and swift flash of eyes offering me love,
Offering response to my own—these repay me,
Lovers, continual lovers, only repay me.

Behold This Swarthy Face

Behold this swarthy face, these gray eyes,
This beard, the white wool unclipt upon my neck,
My brown hands and the silent manner of me without charm;
Yet comes one a Manhattanese and ever at parting kisses me lightly
on the lips with robust love,
And I on the crossing of the street or on the ship’s deck
give a kiss in return,
We observe that salute of American comrades land and sea,
We are those two natural and nonchalant persons.

I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing

I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous of dark green,
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
But I wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there
without its friend near, for I knew I could not,
And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it
and twined around it a little moss,
And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,
It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,
(For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,)
Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;
For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana
solitary in a wide in a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
I know very well I could not.

To a Stranger

Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking,
(it comes to me as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only
nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass,
you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone
or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

This Moment Yearning and Thoughtful

This moment yearning and thoughtful sitting alone,
It seems to me there are other men in other lands yearning and thoughtful,
It seems to me I can look over and behold them in Germany, Italy, France, Spain,
Or far, far away, in China, or in Russia or talking other dialects,
And it seems to me if I could know those men I should become
attached to them as I do to men in my own lands,
O I know we should be brethren and lovers,
I know I should be happy with them.

I Hear It Was Charged Against Me

I hear it was charged against me that I sought to destroy institutions,
But really I am neither for nor against institutions,
(What indeed have I in common with them?
or what with the destruction of them?)
Only I will establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these
States inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, and above every keel little or large
that dents the water,
Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.

Poems are from Leaves of Grass, Book V: Calamus by Walt Whitman.
Text is courtesy of Project Gutenberg.
Formatting of text, and pictures, by Chamblee 54. Calamus part one.
The Big Joy Salon/Benefit/Reading and Screening is Friday July 26, 2011, at 7:30 pm. The location is the Rush Center, 1530 DeKalb Avenue Atlanta GA 30307. This is an evening of enjoyment, centered around the product of the Late James Broughton. $5.00 suggested donation.




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  1. Calamus Part Three « Chamblee54 said, on September 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    […] of Project Gutenberg. Formatting of text, and pictures, by Chamblee 54. Calamus Part One  Calamus Part Two The spell check suggestions for Calamus are Camus, Musicals, […]


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