Dan ganes de morrer de lo malu que ye. Ela diz-lhe que o ama, mas depois foge. Mas ela fugiu Alcuni mi hanno detto "stupendo devi leggerlo" altri " puoi farne anche a meno". Inizia la sua storia Ma le ha avute tutte lui? Si lo so sembro pazza Consiglio a tutti la lettura. Nonostante la sua vita abbia avuto un moderato successo, non riesce a migliorare il rapporto con il padre, a cui non riesce a dire anche solo un semplice "ti voglio bene", e nemmeno quello con la sua ex-convivente, che sta per sposarsi.
Si riconoscono i tratti autobiografici di Fabio Volo, come l'abbandono della scuola dopo la terza media, il suo incontro con lo scrittore Silvano Agosti, e il suo riscatto in un moderato successo. Che cosa avete letto nella vostra vita? Federico Moccia? Secondo libro che leggo di questo autore In un susseguirsi di ricordi e soprattutto nell'attesa che la storia vera e propria mi si rivelasse, avevo alle spalle ormai quasi pagine Poi finalmente si torna al presente e fin troppo in fretta si arriva alla fine Vorrei proprio dirvelo, ma odio spoilerare.
Se siete tristi, evitate questa lettura Che dire di questo libro There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. About Fabio Volo. Fabio Volo. Fabio Volo was born near Brecia, Italy, in He is a writer, actor, and host of popular radio and television shows. He is the author of One More Day and Daybreak. Un Volo senza ritorno. Irriverente, trasgressivo, poco discusso. Un attore per "caso" da rivedere e riapprezzare.
Un mito per molti adolescenti che adorano la sua scrittura g Fabio Volo was born near Brecia, Italy, in Un mito per molti adolescenti che adorano la sua scrittura geniale, forte, intelligente. Assunto a Radio Capital nel , scoperto da Claudio Cecchetto, Radio Deejay lo scippa a Radio Capital nel per affidargli "Il volo del mattino", ottimista morning show che ancora conduce. Debutta nel , diretto da Alessandro D'Alatri, con Casomai , storia d'amore e odio di una coppia di sposini.
Nel Books by Fabio Volo. Trivia About Il tempo che vorrei. No trivia or quizzes yet. Ti sento sempre, anche quando non ci sei. The Little Witch. The Nocturnal Mystery.
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Columbus Novus. The Tree Speaks. To the Ideal. In the Mountains. To Friendship. The Word. My Happiness. To the Virtuous. Worldly Cleverness. Near the Third Skin. My Roses.
The Despiser. The Proverb Speaks. To a Lover of Light. For Dancers. The Good Man. Maxim of the Brute. Narrow Souls. The Involuntary Seducer. For Consideration. Against Haughtiness. Man and Woman. Medicine for Pessimists. My Hardness. The Wanderer. Consolation for Beginners. Egoism of the Stars. The Neighbor. The Disguised Saint. The Unfree Man. The Solitary. Seneca et hoc genus omne.
Youthful Writings. The Pious Retort. In the Summer. Without Envy. Principle of the All Too Refined. The Thorough Man. Judgments of the Weary. Against the Laws. The Sage Speaks. Lost His Head. Pious Wishes. Writing with One's Feet. To My Readers. The Realistic Painter. Poet's Vanity. Discriminating Taste. A Crooked Nose. The Pen Scribbles. Higher Men. The Skeptic Speaks.
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Ecce homo. Star Morals.
Pine and Lightning. On High Seas. Arthur Schopenhauer. Sahst du ihn? The Honey Sacrifice. To Hafis. At the Sight of a Dressing-Gown. To Richard Wagner. To Spinoza. For False Friends. Roman Sigh. The New Testament. The Hermit Speaks. How would they relate to each other? These issues provide the background against which Bahr's essay must be read. The answers Bahr found in Whitman are original and explain, in part, Whitman's enormous popularity in the years following World War I.
The artist would have to be the universal human mediator between individuals, classes, and nations, and a democracy that could solve these problems would have to become an "erotocracy. Whitman, Bahr emphasized admiringly, perceived reality through his sensuality—he "philosophizes with the phallus. Reisiger "encountered" Whitman as early as and published his first translations in the leftist journal Das Forum at the beginning of World War I.
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Whitman's true significance for his time, however, was not revealed to Reisiger until after the war. In the introduction to his first one-volume edition of Whitman's works, he emphasizes that only a quasierotic relationship among men and women but especially men could actually make German democracy work. He shared this curious idea, along with his passion for Whitman, with his close friend Thomas Mann. Mann, who publicly welcomed the publication of Reisiger's translation, had been politically conservative. With the breakdown of the Central European monarchies, Mann had to redefine his position, and he did so with the aid of Whitman.
Democracy, he now believed, could work only if what used to be a hierarchical order could be replaced by an erotic commonwealth. Eroticism and sexuality—the common denominators of all human beings—could thereby serve as a glue to keep democratic society from disintegrating. Both Reisiger and Mann were aware of Whitman's homoeroticism and discussed it in connection with his poetry, especially the "Calamus" poems. In a series of surprisingly "public" statements, Mann and Reisiger both referred to the attachment of man to man as the "heartbeat of true democracy" and as the "life nerve of communal life of the future in all states and cities" see selection 8.
It is surprising that this openness was no longer cause for indignant outcries and public protests. Fifteen to twenty years following the debate between Schlaf and Bertz, Mann's and Reisiger's interpretation of Whitman was apparently accepted—although we do not know how much of it was actually understood. With Reisiger's attractive two-volume edition upon its publication Mann wrote an open letter that appeared on page one of the leading German daily; see selection 7 , Whitman had become a "classic.
This, however, also meant that the reception of his work became less spontaneous and dramatic. While Whitman's passionate rhetoric was much in demand in the turbulences associated with the war when scores of German poets, mostly "messianic expressionists," imitated Whitman , the post-expressionistic poets of the Neue Sachlichkeit New Objectivity had much less affinity with the vitality of the American bard. Obviously, the Nazis had little use for Whitman's poetry. Although there were two or three attempts to enlist Whitman for the national-socialist ideology by turning him into a "Germanic bard," he stressed democracy and internationalism too often to be useful to the ideology of the Third Reich.
Lersch was part of a group of poets who were Whitman devotees in their early years and who found that some of the rhetoric they had learned from Whitman was applicable in the Nazi context. Some of Whitman's imagery of blood, soil, and even women came fairly close to the Nazis' rhetoric of the German character, the German homeland, the German earth, and the German mother. The Nazis thus preempted the possibility of a wide use of Whitman's poetry for the anti-Nazi struggle waged by German exiles, and they also prevented a true Whitman renaissance after World War II.
Although several new volumes of Whitman's works appeared after , including a number of new translations, Whitman's reception since World War II has hardly equaled the enthusiasm of the years between and But even the GDR, a country professing a "messianic" ideology, did not attempt to use the powerful appeal of Whitman's rhetoric. The excellent translation by the GDR author Erich Arendt, who had come know Whitman during his exile in Latin America, is hardly reminiscent of the passion of the earlier translations.
Rather, Whitman seems to have been important as a point of convergence between the interests of mostly young GDR readers and the official cultural policies of the state. Because of the interest shown in Whitman by revolutionaries such as Freiligrath, or the first Soviet commissar of culture, Anatoly Lunacharsky, or especially their own Johannes R.
Becher, the soundness and usefulness of Whitman's poetry were guaranteed in the GDR, where it always remained available in cheap, attractive editions. The GDR audience, on the other hand, fascinated by America and American literature, was interested in Whitman as the representative of a foreign culture to which they had little access physically, intellectually, or artistically. In the first complete German edition of Specimen Days , translated by a GDR translator, was expertly edited by Eva Manske, a specialist in American literature from Leipzig, whose open-minded and inspiring afterword already anticipated the later developments in that country.
Although the German-speaking literary world has acknowledged Whitman to be a classic author and even though he has become the subject of academic inquiry at German, Austrian, and Swiss universities, Whitman's poetry continues to provoke important reactions on the part of creative writers themselves. Lyrical replies to Whitman have always been a measure of his continuing vitality, and German poets have talked back to him frequently and energetically see selections 9— Christian Morgenstern — , a poet, translator, and journalist, had a number of uses for Whitman's poetry.
Here I include a second "Whitman poem" which, in a much more earnest fashion, explores Whitman's internationalist theme, always a favorite among Germans. Morgenstern, with his extreme dislike of the German bourgeois life-style, obviously saw Whitman's globalist poetry and his lyrical America as antidotes to the stuffiness of German life.
In he went to Berlin, where he became acquainted with Georg Heym, one of the most significant German expressionist poets.
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In he moved to Marburg and graduated with a doctorate in law two years later. He lived as a businessman in Frankfurt until , when he was forced to emigrate to the United States. He died in New York in During Drey's short literary career, he contributed to the important expressionist journals Der Sturm and Die Aktion. His poem "Walt Whitman" demonstrates the expressionists' exaggerated adoration of Whitman as a human being, a poet, and a God-like giant.
The poem not only reflects expressionist enthusiasm for Whitman but is at the same time a measure of the alienation of these poets. Quite obviously, Whitman is the receptacle of the projections designed to compensate for their imagined and real deficits as poets and human beings. Their characterizations of Whitman with terms such as "Titan" or, in the poem by Carl Albert Lange, "Giant" suggest the degree to which the human individual is dwarfed by modern technology and industrial society. The violent emotions they ascribe to Whitman, as exaggerated as comic book characterizations, are indicative of the impossibility of expressing subjectivity in a mechanized and controlled society.
The two poems by Swiss writers Gustav Gamper — and Hans Reinhart — appeared next to each other in a Swiss literary journal in , along with Gamper's woodcut of Whitman. These poems are more constrained and devout, exuding a feeling of religiosity, but otherwise they are very similar to the exaggerated diction of the expressionists.
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Gamper, a native of Trogen, Switzerland, was a poet, musician, and painter. Whitman was the great experience of his life, a model to follow throughout his career. Reinhart, a friend of Gamper's, was born in Winterthur, Switzerland. Descended from a wealthy family, he studied in Germany, Switzerland, and France and traveled widely. He was influenced by anthroposophy after a trip to India in and devoted his career to poetry, drama, and prose, as well as to local cultural activities in his hometown.
He also translated individual poems by Whitman. The poem by Carl Albert Lange — seems to be from the same expressionist school as Drey's, although Lange is not usually included with the expressionist movement. He was born in Hamburg as a son of a music teacher. In he was called to military duty and was a Russian POW from to ; these years in Siberia led him to literature. For the most part, he wrote poetry and prose, but he also translated from several languages.
Although his work was repeatedly recognized by several prominent German critics and writers, Lange never established himself as a major twentieth-century voice in German poetry. Not all Germans, however, were uncritical admirers of Whitman. Already one year before the appearance of Lange's poem, in , Kurt Tucholsky, one of the great German satirists, wrote a parody of "Salut au Monde!
Tucholsky frequently used "Ignaz Wrobel" as a pseudonym. The "Walt Wrobel" in the poem is Tucholsky turned into Whitman—or the other way around. Whitman's spiritualized epistemological optimism is shown to be unfounded; the wealth of all appearances could not possibly be grasped by the five senses.
Paradoxically, the senses mediate mainly one thing—pain. Whitman's global panorama is here replaced by ridiculous local observations from the author's everyday life. At the very best, it is slightly humorous—something Whitman's poem is certainly not. In spite of this parody's implicit biting criticism, Tucholsky, like other writers critical of Whitman's optimism, nonetheless admired the American as a great poet. On a poetry manuscript by the young German poet Walter Bauer, he commented, "I am much more interested in your intellectual parents than in your professional aspirations.
Just so there are no misunderstandings: this does not change anything, not in the least, about the value of poems. Their rhymelessness is almost a matter of course. The sonnet by Johannes R. Becher — was probably written in the early s when he was in Soviet exile. In his youth and early manhood, Becher was a devout Whitmanite; later he programmatically declared his conversion from Whitman to Marx and Lenin. Yet, like many other Marxists, he continued to admire Whitman, even though the sonnet form of the poem included here suggests that the nature of this admiration had changed.
Becher, first minister of culture in the GDR, was an influential, although self-serving, cultural politician, whose interest in Whitman helped to insure the poet's "survival" in the GDR. Gabriele Eckart born in is one of the most gifted lyricists in contemporary German literature. At the time she wrote the poem included here, she was still in high school. Her "search for metres," in the course of which she encountered Whitman, already points to the original poetry she would write in the future.
By the mids, Eckart had become a dissident writer and eventually removed to the United States. The poem by Wellbrock born in , a Berlin-based writer of poems, short stories, and radio plays, is explicitly critical of Whitman and Whitman's rhetoric, yet it testifies to the power of Whitman's voice and the necessity for every poet to come to terms with it. Wellbrock himself speaks of his "ambivalent" attitude toward Whitman, whose expansiveness and freedom he admires but whose rhetoric and glorification of strength and body offend him.
The poem is a clever montage of Whitman quotations that have become famous in Germany; Wellbrock carefully refutes each one. No German poet has "talked back" in a more radical fashion to Whitman than Wellbrock. It remains unclear whether it is Whitman's belief in progress that is targeted here or whether the poem attempts to show that our plastic era does not do justice to our cultural-humanist legacy, the Bible, or Whitman; both interpretations seem possible.
Sahl, born in Dresden in , was one of the most prominent German exiles in the literary field. Since he has worked as a cultural correspondent for several German-language dailies. He is also a prominent translator of American dramatists among them Williams, Miller, and Wilder. The poem is the sophisticated product of a truly bicultural mind and deserves an important place in German-American literature.
He became a bookseller, worked as a nurse's assistant, then studied medicine in Leipzig, where he specialized in internal medicine. This part-time poet's direct address to Whitman confronts the frequent attempts to pronounce Whitman dead. Yet, to this poet writing in the "mid-age" years of tranquility and "maturity," Whitman is still as provocative as ever. Kluge writes that "for somebody who was forced to live in a walled-in country, it can be a revelation to see the upright posture of a human being: self-determined instead of other-directedness, sensuality instead of prudishness, love of truth rather than hypocrisy.
To me, Walt Whitman was a great help. In a country where walls have come down, Whitman's German reception will no doubt develop in new and unsuspected ways as a result of the radical changes in East-Central Europe. Whereas the changes in Eastern and East-Central Europe have muted Marxist voices and thus also Marxist respondents to Whitman, a new kind of response is struck by Rolf Schwendter pseudonym of Rudolf Schesswendtner , born in in Vienna. A professor of sociology at the University of Kassel in Germany, Schwendter's academic interests include subcultures, future studies, and research into social and cultural deviancy.
His poem "You I Sing, Socialism" was written for the festival of the Austrian Communist press in Vienna and targets both conservative and Marxist orthodoxies from a libertarian, independently leftist point of view. For the first time, Whitman's pluralist aesthetics have been appreciated by a leftist recipient.
While it lacks Whitman's lyrical vision, Schwendter's poem is a programmatic and sophisticated piece of work, and it synthesizes the tradition of German responses to Whitman, while it opens up new modes of creative political interpretations of his poetry. The answer is, a poet! A new American poet! His admirers say, the first, the only poet America has as yet produced. The only American poet of specific character. No follower in the beaten track of the European muses, but fresh from the prairie and the new settlements, fresh from the coast and the great watercourses, fresh from the thronging humanity of seaports and cities, fresh from the battlefields of the South, and from the earthy smells in hair and beard and clothing of the soil from which he sprang.
A being not yet come to fullness of existence, a person standing firmly and consciously upon his own American feet, an utterer of a gross of great things, though often odd. And his admirers go still further: Walt Whitman is to them the only poet at all, in whom the age, this struggling, eagerly seeking age, in travail with thought and longing, has found its expression; the poet par excellence.
Thus, on the one side his admirers, in whose ranks we find even an Emerson. On the other, to be sure, are the critics, those whose business it is to abase aspirants. By the side of unmeasured praise and enthusiastic recognitions of his genius are bitter and biting scorn and injurious abuse.
This, it is true, troubles not the poet. The praise he takes as his due; to the scorn he opposes scorn of his own. He believes in himself; his self-reliance is unbounded. Rossetti, "to himself above all things the one man who cherishes earnest convictions, and avows that he, both now and hereafter, is the founder of a new poetical literature—a great literature—a literature such as will stand in due relation and proportion to the material grandeur and the incalculable destinies of America. He believes that the Columbus of the continent or the Washington of the States were not more truly founders and builders of this America than he himself will be in time to come.
Surely a sublime conviction, and by the poet more than once expressed in stately words—none more so than the poem which begins with the line: "Come, indivisible will I make this continent. Is the man in his right mind, that he talks thus? Let us step nearer to him! Let us hearken to his life and his works. First of all let us open his book. Are these verses? The lines are arranged like verses, to be sure, but verses they are not. No metre, no rhyme, no stanzas. Rhythmical prose, ductile verses. At first sight rugged, inflexible, formless; but yet for a more delicate ear, not devoid of euphony.
The language homely, hearty, straightforward, naming everything by its true name, shrinking for nothing, sometimes obscure. The tone rhapsodical, like that of a seer, often unequal, the sublime mingled with the trivial even to the point of insipidity. He reminds us sometimes, with all the differences that exist besides, of our own Hamann.
Or of Carlyle's oracular wisdom. Or of the Paroles d'un Croyant. Through all there sounds out the Bible—its language, not its creed. And what does the poet propound to us in this form? First of all: Himself, his I , Walt Whitman. This I however is part of America, a part of the earth, a part of mankind, a part of the All. As such he is conscious of himself and revolves, knitting the greatest to the least, ever going out from America, and coming back to America ever agan only to a free people does the future belong!
Through this individual Walt Whitman and his Americanism marches, we may say, a cosmical procession, such as may be suitable for reflective spirits, who, face to face with eternity, have passed solitary days on the sea-shore, solitary nights under the starry sky of the prairie. He finds himself in all things and all things in himself. He, the one man, Walt Whitman, is mankind and the world. And the world and mankind are to him one great poem.
What he sees and hears, what he comes in contact with, whatever approaches him, even the meanest, the most trifling, the most every-day matter—all is to him symbolical of a higher, of a spiritual fact. Or rather, matter and spirit, the real and the ideal are to him one and the same. Thus, produced by himself, he takes his stand; thus he strides along, singing as he goes; thus he opens from his soul, a proud free man, and only a man, world-wide, social and political vistas.
A wonderful appearance. We confess that it moves us, disturbs us, will not loose its hold upon us. At the same time, however, we would remark that we are not yet ready with our judgment of it, that we are still biased by our first impression. Meanwhile we, probably the first in Germany to do so, will take at least a provisional view of the scope and tendency of this new energy.
It is fitting that our poets and thinkers should have a closer look at this strange new comrade, who threatens to overturn our entire Ars Poetica and all our theories and canons on the subject of aesthetics. Indeed, when we have listened to all that is within these earnest pages, when we have grown familiar with the deep, resounding roar of those, as it were, surges of the sea in their unbroken sequence of rhapsodical verses breaking upon us, then will our ordinary verse-making, our system of forcing thought into all sorts of received forms, our playing with ring and sound, our syllable-counting and measure of quantity, our sonnet-writing and construction of strophes and stanzas, seem to us almost childish.
Are we really come to the point, when life, even in poetry, calls imperatively for new forms of expression? Has the age so much and such serious matter to say, that the old vessels no longer suffice for the new contents? Are we standing before a poetry of the ages to come, just as some years ago a music of the ages to come was announced before us? As to the person and the life of the poet, we learn that he is a man of almost fifty years.
He was born on the 31st May, His father, in succession, innkeeper, carpenter, and architect, a descendant of English settlers; the mother, Louisa Van Velsor, of Dutch descent. The boy received his first school teaching in Brooklyn, a suburb of New York. Compelled at an early age to rely upon his own exertions, he gained his living first as a printer, and later as a teacher, and a contributor to several New York newspapers. In the year we find him established as editor of a newspaper in New Orleans, two years later again a printer in Brooklyn. After this he worked a long time, like his father, as carpenter and architect.
In the year , after the breaking out of the great civil war as an enthusiastic Unionist and anti-slavery man he stood firmly on the side of the North , he undertook, by authority from Lincoln through Emerson's mediation, the care of the wounded in the field. And to be sure, he had it expressly stipulated beforehand, that it was to be without any sort of remuneration.
From the spring of onward, this nursing in the field, and in the hospitals at Washington, was his "only employment by day and by night. Every wounded man, from the North and the South alike, had the same careful and loving attendance at the hands of the poet.
At the end of the war, it is said, he must have nursed with his own hands more than , sick and wounded. For six months he himself lay sick; a hospital fever, the first sickness of his life, had seized him. After the war he obtained a minor office in the Department of the Interior at Washington, but lost it in June, , when the minister, Mr.
Harlan, had it brought to his attention, that Whitman was the author of the book, "Leaves of Grass," the coarseness, or as it appeared to Mr. Harlan, the immorality of which filled the ministerial bosom with holy horror. But the poet found soon another post of modest salary in the bureau of the Attorney General at Washington. There he is still living. On Sunday, and sometimes in the week also, he still keeps up his visits to the hospitals. Whitman is a plain man, a man of few needs.
Poor, and, according to his own avowal, without talent for moneymaking. His strength, said he to a visitor, Mr. Conway, an American living in London, lay in "loafing and writing poems. Conway found him while yet on Long Island—before the war, indeed , in a temperature of degrees, lying on his back in the grass, and staring at the sun. Just like Diogenes. His abode Conway found very plain and simple. A small room, poorly furnished, with only one window, which looked out on the sandy solitude of Long Island.
Not a single book in the room. But he talked of the Bible, of Homer, and of Shakespeare as of favorite books which he owned. For reading he had two especial study-rooms: one was the top of an omni-bus, the other Coney Island, an uninhabited little sand islet far out in the Atlantic Ocean, miles from the coast. His writings, up to this time, are the above-named "Leaves of Grass" first edition , set up and printed by the poet himself; second edition ; third edition ; then, after the war, "Drum-Taps" with a "Sequel" in which is a fine rhapsody on the death of Abraham Lincoln; and last year, a complete edition with a supplement called "Songs before Parting.
Rossetti, one of Whitman's English admirers. The coarse expressions of doubtful propriety which were in the New York original edition have been left out of this; and it is the purpose of the published by means of this issue to open a path for the preparation of a complete edition and for its unprejudiced reception in England. We are indebted to Mr. Rossetti's preface to this selection of his for the sketch given above of the poet's life. With these suggestions, we leave the subject for this time, but will soon recur to it, especially to give some translated specimens of the poet's productions.
Though it is a dubious business to estimate Whitman from specimens. The principle " ex pede Herculem " is hardly quite applicable to him; if in any way a poet, he will be recognised and honored as such in his totality. Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung , Wochenausgabe, no. Translation from New Eclectic Magazine 2 July : —; translator unknown. A little while ago, a few German magazines carried reports on the death of one of the most outstanding North American poets on March 26 of this year, Walt Whitman.
He had died in Camden near Philadelphia in the seventy-fourth year of his life. The few data on his life and work that accompanied this report, reminiscent of the laconicism of a literary encyclopedia, were hardly designed to inspire further interest in the deceased. To inspire such interest, however, is very desirable, because hardly anything relevant has as yet been published on Whitman in German. After all, Whitman is not only the most significant poet of North America, but he belongs to world literature, and that, we believe, with greater justification than his countryman Edgar Poe, who is, in a manner of speaking, known to the whole world.
Our essay does not make any pretensions. It wants to contribute its modest share to awaken the greater interest for Whitman by giving a short picture of the characteristics of the poet as far as we can gather them from the incomplete translation of his Leaves of Grass. In the introduction to their translation, one of the translators, Karl Knortz, calls Whitman an "optimist par excellence.
With such a phrase, little is said about a human being who said of himself with these proudly modest words: I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or to be understood, I see that the elementary laws never apologize. The translators have used these lines as motto for their book and they characterize Whitman better than the dusty phrase of the "optimist par excellence.
He can hardly deny his own self and is radically different from the incapacitated romanticism and the christianism from which the "Old World" is presently suffering, with hardly enough breath to throw all kinds of blasphemies against sour grapes. His "barbaric yawp" sounds "over the roofs of the world" like powerful dithyrambs of a new life and a new strength; they resound in the midst of the funeral hymns of the Old World and announce a new religion, a new art and a new meaning of life.
Whitman is neither optimist nor pessimist: he is strength. Whitman was born in on Long Island where his family owned a large farm whose fields the Whitmans tilled with their own hands. There, in the open countryside, in unspoilt nature, he spent the larger part of his youth. Later, in an American manner, he tried his hand in a variety of professions: he was a printer, teacher, carpenter, journalist, building contractor, etc.
Although he was on his way to becoming successful and wealthy in a variety of trades, he eventually gave everything up and started to write poetry. In the 60s, just after the Leaves had appeared, he spent the Civil War on the battlefield and worked as a nurse in the hospitals. During that time, he earned his living as a newspaper correspondent. For his various services, he received a small job at the Ministry of the Interior which he did not keep for long. He owed his dismissal to the Secretary of the Interior, James Harlan, a former Methodist preacher, who was morally outraged over the Leaves published in His friends procured for him a new position in the office of the Attorney General which he kept until At that time, he suffered a stroke.
His health was shattered as a consequence of the exertions in the war. He improved slowly without ever completely recovering. Later, he managed to make a small, very modest home for himself in Camden and this is where, without bitterness and complaint, he authored his best poetry which shows a "special religious consecration" I am quoting Rolleston, whose introduction to the translation of the Leaves serves me as a source for this short sketch of Whitman's life , "a quiet, transfigured beauty, contrasting with the mood of the earlier poems just as the starry nocturnal heavens contrast with the sunlit earth.
Thus he created his poetry while continuously changing locations, at times in the midst of the rich colorful traffic of the American metropolis, among the boldest and most enormous achievements of modern industry, at times in the great outdoors of his continent, always in the midst of battle and tumult of a colorful life. The spirit of his art is as different from the spirit of the middle ages as the medieval spirit was itself different from classical antiquity; it grows as organically out of the middle ages as the medieval spirit grew out of that of classical antiquity.
For today, my work is done. It is growing dusky. Tired and deadened from all my writing I lean out of the window and see how the sunlight at the facade of the high building across from me gradually disappears. And then, after all the reading and all the work, I feel how constricted our lives are, I understand and sense our misery. The street with the jumble and the noise of traffic reaches far down, loses itself in both directions in smoke and in the confusing bustle of the side streets.
Above, a narrow, scanty piece of heaven, darkened and polluted by the rising food vapors. Behind the windows on the other side, all the way down the long street, next to me, above and below me, from all sides a pressing, shoving and constriction and confusion between the gray masses of stone.
And, like here, this extends in concentric circles for hours, far into the countryside. Far, far away somewhere, nature is alive with its free air of the heavens, and its free stars, with its meadows, fields and forests, with mountains, streams, lakes, and seas, far away, unreal like a legend, like a fabulous fairy tale which we read in our children's books. The countless threads through which our life, our feeling, and our perception are connected to infinite mysteries seem to be cut.
We are alone, alone with ourselves, man with man, in the vibrating restlessness of this constriction and its nerve-shattering, confusing pell-mell. Our suffering, our misery and our joys, however, turn into monsters in this all too obvious crowdedness, distorted by a devilish perspective. And all the refinements of our aged culture cannot hide the great, fundamental disease which we have been trying to cure with all kinds of medicines for some time: our lack of religion or, if we want, our lack of energy, the atrophy of our perception.
Our recent ethical endeavors. So many half-hearted attempts to get to the root of our general malaise. But how can we help each other, if we have only an understanding of how we are connected with all things from close and far but not a living perception of them? If we have no "religion" from which alone originates love, self-awareness, joy, force, art, ethics, manhood and comprehension of life?
How can we get to the root of the thousandfold misery of a metropolis, the distress of the poor, if we cannot even stand looking at it and if it seduces us to blasphemies against the world? Now let's think about all the pessimism and all the decadence of our European world. Let's think about all its art, its artifice, its artificiality, its refinements, its moral hangover, all its nervous and yearning distress—and then let's listen to the "optimist par excellence," Walt Whitman.
How do we suddenly feel?