April 23, 1812
Dear Walt Whitman
I have been reading your poem, ‘Leaves of Grass’, in your ‘Song of Myself’.
I am especially interested in you concept of the men’s consciousness. ‘I CELEBRATE myself’ you wrote for the first line. ‘I loafe and invite my soul;’ As human beings, our own consciousness is so complex, but that’s the only thing we know. We cannot see other’s, but our own. You poem, unlike the ones of my time, is written more freely, without rules and rhymes. Just as your thought, which is unstrained and closer to the real world.
I really enjoy the way you write the nature. ‘The atmosphere is not a perfume…’ The great Nature, the sweetness of the nature written from your pen, has become something that can be tasted. ‘Undisguised and naked’ you enjoy the nature, and want to be part of it. Be naked and take off the unnecessary moral restrain and rules away from you; to enjoy the life, the air the breath of the tree, and all that is part of Nature.
However, out of the long, beautiful poem of yours, I favour part 6 the most. ‘Growing among black folks as among white; Kanuck,… I give them the same.’ Your poem has risen Romanticism a new level. All human being are equal. Although, the skin colour, the eyes, the appearance of ones are different from another, we ARE the same. All ade of the same components, and all need the same nutrient to grow. We were all born with innocence, naked and pure. (‘Song of Innocence’)
‘And now it see,s to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves’
One will always fear death. For the normal convention, death means the end. But death in your poems, has become a continuous of a new life. You poem has made life be infinitem broader, and more extraordinary. I heard that you’ve joined the volunteer work in the army as a helper in the hospital. Death was every where in the hospital. In front of the death we are all the same. Wealth, poverty, tall, short, appearance, there’s no different. ‘They are alive and well somewhere; The smallest sprout shows there is really no death.’ There are more things after death, that death is part of the life. While there are death, there would be lives, the lives that was carried on because of the death. Lives are formed because there are deaths. We are part of the world now, and we will be part of life in the future. Our flesh, hair, bone would be part of the grass one day, after the long future(seems to). Our death would live on with the alives. ‘All goes onward and outward nothing collapses.’ ‘And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.’ Death is not something to be afraid of but to be respect of. It’s part of our life. The moment we were born we are sure that one day we would die. Death’s Natural, as you say.
Cheers, and enjoy life