Page 89 - Jack Foley | The true litterateur
P. 89

WHITMAN’S “OUT OF THE CRADLE ENDLESSLY ROCKING”

                                                    (EXPOESIS)




                 As world becomes word (“translating”)

                 It is an act of marvelous empathy and compassion in the literal
                 sense, “feeling with”

                 It is a poem about the body and its transformation
                 Even as Whitman speaks of the soul
                 It is a poem in which the lorn bird and the transforming boy

                 Move us to what Wallace Stevens called
                 A new representation of reality.

                 This, camerados, is the great mythic moment of American
                 letters

                 And it takes place not at a desk but outside,
                 Not as writing but as brilliant spontaneous unexpected

                 utterance.
                 It ushers in (under the magical multivalent moon, in the
                 presence of the vast, talkative

                                     sea)
                 Nothing less than the world as song.

































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