Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

Walt Whitman Poems: Of Him I Love Day and Night.

My father is buried in the National Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.

But, when I visited, that was not where I found his spirit.

I found it in the garden behind the church he helped build.

The congregation built and dedicated a garden in his memory because he had spent so many hours landscaping the church.

His spirit lives on in that garden.

 

Of Him I Love Day and Night

 

Of him I love day and night I dream’d I heard he was dead,

And I dream’d I went where they had buried him I love, but he was not

in that place,

And I dream’d I wander’d searching among burial-places to find him,

And I found that every place was a burial-place;

The houses full of life were equally full of death, (this house is now,)

The streets, the shipping, the places of amusement, the Chicago,

Boston, Philadelphia, the Mannahatta, were as full of the dead

as of the living,

And fuller, O vastly fuller of the dead than of the living;

And what I dream’d I will henceforth tell to every person and age,

And I stand henceforth bound to what I dream’d,

And now I am willing to disregard burial-places and dispense with them,

And if the memorials of the dead were put up indifferently everywhere,

even in the room where I eat or sleep, I should be satisfied,

And if the corpse of any one I love, or if my own corpse, be duly ren-

der’d to powder and pour’d in the sea, I shall be satisfied,

Or if it be distributed to the winds I shall be satisfied.

1871

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

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