Did you know that Walt Whitman was born in West Hills, Long Island, New York, in a two-story frame house built by his father on May 31, 1819? Let us at the Red Room take a moment on Memorial Day today and celebrate him. Whitman had a profound sense of the miraculous, even in the commonplace, the common experiences that cross our paths. He appears to have viewed miracles in a far different light than most people. “WHY, who makes much of a miracle?” he wrote, “As to me I know nothing else but miracles” (LG, 513). “Miracles” was first published in 1856, when he was at the height of his poetic powers. He must have been in possession of a tremendous vision of the interconnectedness of all things when he wrote it. For Whitman, meaningful coincidences are not uncommon, they take place all the time. The important thing is that we notice them. Celebrating Whitman's birthday on Memorial Day is a synchronicity I do not want to overlook, for he was our greatest Civil War poet, a lover of men and a nurse to the wounded and dying soldiers of the North and South. His greatest lyrical song was his elegy to President Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last by the Dooryard Bloom'd." He suffered, he was there.
Causes Steven Herrmann Supports
American Rights at Work