Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Origins of Wednesday L: Look away? ii

         The Secession war? Nay, let me call it the Union war.
         Though whatever call'd, it is even yet too near us -
         too vast and too closely overshadowing - its branches
         unform'd yet, (but certain,) shooting far into the fu-
         ture - and the most indicative and mightiest of them
         yet ungrown. A great literature will yet arise out of
         the era of those four years, those scenes - era com-
         pressing centuries of native passion, first-class pic-
         tures, tempests of life and death - an inexhaustible
         mine for the histories, drama, romance, and even phil-
         osophy, of peoples to come - indeed the verteber of
         poetry and art, (of personal character too,) for all
         future America - far more grand, in my opinion, to the
         hands capable of it, than Homer's siege of Troy, or 
         the French wars to Shakespeare.

 But I must leave these speculations,
 and come to the theme I have assign'd
 myself to. Of the actual murder of
 President Lincoln, though so much has 
 been written, probably the facts are 
 indefinite in most persons' minds ..

Walt Whitman
Complete Poetry
  and Collected Prose
    Democratric Vistas
Justin Kaplan
The Library of America, 1982©

David Cole
The New York Review of Books
May 23, 2017©

J.D. Crowe, drawing

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