Chanticleer singing Steven Sametz’s setting of Walt Whitman’s We two boys together clinging.
We two boys together clinging,
One the other never leaving,
Up and down the roads going—North and South excursions making,
Power enjoying—elbows stretching—fingers clutching,
Arm’d and fearless—eating, drinking, sleeping, loving,
No law less than ourselves owning—sailing soldiering, thieving, threatening,
Misers, menials, priests alarming—air breathing, water drinking, on the turf or the sea-beach dancing,
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing,
Fulfilling our foray.
"One point, however, must not be forgotten—ought to be put before the eyes of the people every day; and that is, although government can do little positive good to the people, it may do an immense deal of harm… . the Democratic principle … would prevent all this harm. It would have no man’s benefit achieved at the expense of his neighbors. It would have no one’s rights infringed upon and that, after all, is pretty much the sum and substance of the prerogatives of government. How beautiful and harmonious a system! How it transcends all other codes, as the golden rule, in its brevity, transcends the ponderous tomes of the philosophic lore! While mere politicians, in their narrow minds, are sweating and fuming with their complicated statutes, this one single rule, rationally construed and applied, is enough to form the starting point of all that is necessary in government: to make no more laws than those useful for preventing a man or body of men from infringing on the rights of other men."
Walt Whitman (via thedailyliberty)
Listening to this for the first time since we recorded it last May. So exciting.
Song of Myself, 44.
It is time to explain myself—let us stand up.
What is known I strip away,
I launch all men and women forward with me into the Unknown.
The clock indicates the moment—but what does eternity indicate?
We have thus far exhausted trillions of winters and summers,
There are trillions ahead, and trillions ahead of them.
Births have brought us richness and variety,
And other births will bring us richness and variety.
I do not call one greater and one smaller,
That which fills its period and place is equal to any.
So, so, so excited for this release on June 5.
This was my first involvement with a recording for commercial release, and it was an awesome piece. I’m so proud of the work we did.
Song at Sunset
Splendor of ended day floating and filling me,
Hour prophetic, hour resuming the past,
Inflating my throat, you divine average,
You earth and life till the last ray gleams I sing.
Open mouth of my soul uttering gladness,
Eyes of my soul seeing perfection,
Natural life of me faithfully praising things,
Corroborating forever the triumph of things.
Illustrious every one!
Illustrious what we name space, sphere of unnumber’d
Illustrious the mystery of motion in all beings, even the
Illustrious the attribute of speech, the senses, the body,
Illustrious the passing light—illustrious the pale reflection
on the new moon in the western sky,
Illustrious whatever I see or hear or touch, to the last.
Good in all,
In the satisfaction and aplomb of animals,
In the annual return of the seasons,
In the hilarity of youth,
In the strength and flush of manhood,
In the grandeur and exquisiteness of old age,
In the superb vistas of death.
Wonderful to depart!
Wonderful to be here!
The heart, to jet the all-alike and innocent blood!
To breathe the air, how delicious!
To speak—to walk—to seize something by the hand!
To prepare for sleep, for bed, to look on my rose-color’d
To be conscious of my body, so satisfied, so large!
To be this incredible God I am!
To have gone forth among other Gods, these men and
women I love.
Wonderful how I celebrate you and myself!
How my thoughts play subtly at the spectacles around!
How the clouds pass silently overhead!
How the earth darts on and on! and how the sun, moon,
stars, dart on and on!
How the water sports and sings! (surely it is alive!)
How the trees rise and stand up, with strong trunks, with
branches and leaves!
(Surely there is something more in each of the trees, some
O amazement of things—even the least particle!
O spirituality of things!
O strain musical flowing through ages and continents, now
reaching me and America!
I take your strong chords, intersperse them, and cheerfully
pass them forward.
I too carol the sun, usher’d or at noon, or as now, setting,
I too throb to the brain and beauty of the earth and of all
the growths of the earth,
I too have felt the resistless call of myself.
As I steam’d down the Mississippi,
As I wander’d over the prairies,
As I have lived, as I have look’d through my windows my eyes,
As I went forth in the morning, as I beheld the light
breaking in the east.
As I bathed on the beach of the Eastern Sea, and again on
the beach of the Western Sea,
As I roam’d the streets of inland Chicago, whatever streets I
Or cities or silent woods, or even amid the sights of war,
Wherever I have been I have charged myself with
contentment and triumph.
I sing to the last the equalities modern or old,
I sing the endless finales of things,
I say Nature continues, glory continues,
I praise with electric voice,
For I do not see one imperfection in the universe,
And I do not see one cause or result lamentable at last in the
O setting sun! though the time has come,
I still warble under you, if none else does, unmitigated
Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass
(thanks to Jeanette for having me read this on the flight home from Paris the other day)
We Two Boys Together Clinging
We two boys together clinging,
One upon the other never leaving,
Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions making,
Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching,
Arm’d and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving,
No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening,
Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking, on the turf or on the sea-beach dancing,
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statues mocking, feebleness chasing,
Fulfilling our foray.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1891-92)
"O YOU whom I often and silently come where you are, that I may be with you;
As I walk by your side, or sit near, or remain in the same room with you,
Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is playing within me."
Walt Whitman, from “Leaves of Grass” (via operarox)
[Picture: Background — a six piece pie style colour split, alternating black and grey. Foreground — a picture of an armadillo. Top text: “Have immaculate spelling and grammar, but make up words” Bottom text: “I am large; I contain multitudes”]
Thanks, Walt Whitman. I can’t tell you how often that line comes in handy.
Submitted by verbalhijinx.