Saturday, November 20, 2010

Whitman, All truths wait in things, a nomination

I'm a bit spent this morning. Yesterday was worry, furious disappointment and a sign. Between furious disappointment and a sign was the comfort of friends--warm, tired, Friday-night bodies; people who see life for what it is and accept (and can still laugh).

Was there really a sign? My analysis is overly ambitious. Italo Calvino urges writers to be overly ambitious in our work not our lives [see My 3,000's Italo Calvino: immeasureable goals].  So, to reword, there was a bit of niceness in that editors of Redheaded Stepchild nominated my poem "Like Wings" for a Pushcart Prize. The five other poets nominated by this review are Carly Sachs, Scott Owens, Tim Mayo, Marge Piercy and Carrie Cutler.

Pushcart editors get a great number of nominations--six from each literary review or press. The nomination is the honor. "What is less or more than a touch?" as Whitman writes.

From Song of Myself...

All truths wait in all things,
They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,
They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon,
The insignificant is as big to me as any,
What is less or more than a touch?

Logic and sermons never convince,
The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.

Only what proves itself to every man and woman is so,
Only what denies it is so.

A minute and a drop of me settle my brain,
I believe the soggy clods shall become lovers and lamps,
And a compend of compends is the meat of a man or a woman,
And a summit or flower there is the feeling they have for each other,
And they are to branch boundlessly out of that lesson until it becomes
And until everyone shall delight us, and we them.

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

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