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by by Walt Whitman
Binding: Paperback, 76 pages
Publisher: Grierson Press
Weight: 30
Dimension: H: 0.75 x L: 8.4 x W: 0.48 inches

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Book Description:
INTRODUCTION W HEN the first days of August loured over the world, time seemed to stand still. A universal astonishment and confu sion fell, as upon a flock of sheep perplexed by strange dogs. But now, though never before was a St. Lucys Day so black with absence, darkness, death, Christmas is gone. Spring comes swiftly, the almond trees flourish. Easter will soon be here. Life breaks into beauty again and we realize that man may bring hell itself into the world, but that Nature ever patiently waits to be his natural paradise. Yet still a kind of instinctive Uihdness blots out the prospect of the future. Until the long horror of the war is gone from our minds, we shall be able to think of nothing that has not for its background a chaotic darkness. Like every obgession, it gnaws at thought, follows us into our dreams and returns with the morning. But there have been other wars. And humanity, after learning as best it may their brutal lesson, has survived them. Just as the young soldier leaves home behind him and accepts hardship and danger as to the manner barn, so, when he returns again, life will resume its old quiet wont. Nature is not idle even in the imagination. It is mans salvation to forget no less than it is his salvation to remember. And it is wise even in the midst of the conflict to look back on those that are past and to prepare for the returning problems of the future. When Whitman wrote his EfDemocratic V istas, the long ern bittered war between the Northern and Southern States of America was a thing only of yesterday. It is a headlong amorphous production a tangled meadow of C leaves of grass in prose. But it is as cogent to day as i t was when it was written To the ostent of the senses and eyes he writes, the influences which atmp the worlds history are wars, uprisings, or downfalls of dynasties. . . . Those, of course, play their part yet, it may bo, a single new thought, imagination, abatract principle . . . put in shape by some great literatus, and projected among mankind, may duly cause changes, growths, removals, greater than the longest and bloodiest war, or tho most stupendoua merely political, dynastic, or comhercial overturn. The literatus who realized this had his own message in mind. And yet, justly. For those who might point to the worldly prosperity and material comforts of his country, and ask, Are not these better indeed than any utterances even of greatest rhapsode, artist, or Titeratus he has his irrefutable answer. He surveys the New York of 1870, its faqades of marble and iron, of original grandeur and elegance of desigm, etc., in his familiar catalogical jargon, and shutting his eyes to its glow and grandeur, inquires in return, Are there indeed men here worthy the name Are there perfect women Is there a pervading atmosphere of beautiful manners Are there ads worthy freedom and a rich people Is there a great moral and religious civilization the only justification of a great material one We ourselves in good time shall have to face and to answer these questions. They search our keenest hopes of the peace that is coming. And we may be fortiesd perhaps by the fdlmwing queer pod of hisbly repeating it C Never, in the 0id World, nra thomltgbly uphohsterd exterior sppmm and show, mental qnd other, built entirely on the idea of caste, and on the sufficiency of mere o u h i h acquisition egrer were glibnam, verbal intellect, more the het, the emulation more loftily ele ated ae head and sample than they are on the surface of our Republican States this day. The writera of a time lint the mottoe o f its gods. The word of the modern, my thm v e k , is the word Culture...

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