Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A PASSAGE TO INDIA

from "leaves of grass"


I see over my own continent the Pacific Railroad, surmounting every barrier;
I see continual trains of cars winding along the Platte, carrying freight and passengers;
I hear the locomotives rushing and roaring, and the shrill steam-whistle,
I hear the echoes reverberate through the grandest scenery in the world;
I cross the Laramie plains—I note the rocks in grotesque shapes—the buttes


I see the plentiful larkspur and wild onions—the barren, colorless, sage-deserts;
I see in glimpses afar, or towering immediately above me, the great mountains—

I see the Wind River and the Wahsatch mountains;
I see the Monument mountain and the Eagle’s Nest
I pass the Promontory—I ascend the Nevadas;



I scan the noble Elk mountain, and wind around its base;
I see the Humboldt range—I thread the valley and cross the river,


















I see the clear waters of Lake Tahoe—I see forests of majestic pines,

















Or, crossing the great desert, the alkaline plains, I behold enchanting mirages of waters and meadows;
Marking through these, and after all, in duplicate slender lines,





Bridging the three or four thousand miles of land travel,
Tying the Eastern to the Western sea,
The road between Europe and Asia.
Walt Whitman

3 comments:

Water Baby said...

One of my history teachers liked to quote Walt Whitman all the time, he taught us a lot that year. This passage almost doesn't need the pictures but they are beautiful!

bulletholes said...

Was it Mr. Washmon, my old Journalism teacher? The one that spotted me a point so that I wouldn't flunk the 12th grade?

I thought I knew it all back then, just like I do now.
I heard this read by some actor one time, and he captured the feel of it perfectly. I put too many pictures to it but what the heck!
Its my party.

soubriquet said...

The pictures are great too, illustrating Whitman's words.
Funny, this afternoon, I was reading those very words in a book, before packing it to bring it with me, some day soon, to America. I look forward to meeting you, Steve!