From My Commonplace Book - 16 - a little Walt Whitman for Enid

A Clear Midnight

by Walt Whitman

This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best,
Night, sleep, death, and the stars.

In some versions I found online, in the final line "death" is omitted. I don't know if the poet himself omitted the word in some versions or if online posters left out a word they don't like.


That's lovely Merry and I guess "death" being Whitman is of body only - "this is thy hour O Soul". A little poem on a sort of blindness (am I way off track here ?) from Songs of Kabir 14th century mystic now I've all the time to rediscover.

The moon shines in my body, but my blind eyes cannot see it;
The moon is within me, and so is the sun.
The unstruck drum of Eternity is sounded within me; but my deaf ears cannot hear it.
So long as man clamours for the I and the mine, his words are as naught:
When all the love for the I and the mine is dead, then the work of the Lord is done
For work has no other name than the getting of knowledge:
When that comes then work is put away.
The flower blooms for the fruit: when the fruit comes, the flower withers.

And they have so much in common - in Kabir's "Songs".
Ah, Enid, the lines of Kabir's are lovely. Thank you.

I have a poem of his that I intend to post eventually.

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