Elutriate, purify (in Whitman’s words)—It worked again.

BY | Posted on | FILED UNDER Categories Elutriate



If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,

‘Twould not be you, Niagara —nor you, ye limitless prairies—nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,

Nor you, Yosemite—nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyserloops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,

Nor Oregon’s white cones—nor Huron’s belt of mighty lakes—nor Mississippi’s stream:

—This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now, I’d name—the still small voice vibrating—America’s choosing day,

(The heart of it not in the chosen—the act itself the main, the quadrennial choosing,)

The stretch of North and South arous’d—sea-board and inland—Texas to Maine—the Prairie States – Vermont, Virginia, California,

The final ballot-shower from East to West—the paradox and conflict,

The countless snow-flakes falling—(a swordless conflict,

Yet more than all Rome’s wars of old, or modern Napoleon’s): the peaceful choice of all,

Or good or ill humanity—welcoming the darker odds, the dross:

—Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify—while the heart pants, life glows:

These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,

Swell’d Washington’s, Jefferson’s, Lincoln’s sails.


1 thought on “Elutriate, purify (in Whitman’s words)—It worked again.”

  1. A week ago it seemed that all the world could begin to breathe once more. We didn’t need a messiah but rather a chance to cleanse the air, just that simple. A moment to live unfettered by obligations to the powerful. Behold Whitman and in his lucid understanding of a warped hegemony. How splendid now to see the world a fresh. To believe that the we of the America’s could take such a bold step — it is daunting and exhilarating.

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