Finally, in March 1802, Congress passed an act establishing a school for the Army Corps of Engineers, and President Jefferson officially opened West Point on July 4. The poetic quality is not marshald in rhyme or uniformity, or abstract addresses to things, nor in melancholy complaints or good precepts, but is the life of these and much else, and is in the soul. The talented, the artist, the ingenious, the editor, the statesman, the erudite, are not unappreciatedthey fall in their place and do their work. Is it for the nursing of the young of the republic? The Oxford Book of American Essays , ed. A great poem is no finish to a man or woman, but rather a beginning. A single glance of it mocks all the investigations of man and all the instruments and books of the earth and all reasoning.
A live nation can always cut a deep mark and can have the best authority the cheapest namely from its own soul. The poet sees for a certainty how one not a great artist may be just as sacred and perfect as the greatest artist. Not swarming states, nor streets and steamships, nor prosperous business, nor farms, nor capital, nor learning, may suffice for the ideal of mannor suffice the poet. Henceforth let no man of us lie, for we have seen that openness wins the inner and outer world, and that there is no single exception, and that never since our earth gatherd itself in a mass have deceit or subterfuge or prevarication attracted its smallest particle or the faintest tinge of a shadeand that through the enveloping wealth and rank of a state, or the whole republic of states, a sneak or sly person shall be discoverd and despisedand that the soul has never once been foold and never can be fooldand thrift without the loving nod of the soul is only a ftid puffand there never grew up in any of the continents of the globe, nor upon any planet or satellite, nor in that condition which precedes the birth of babes, nor at any time during the changes of life, nor in any stretch of abeyance or action of vitality, nor in any process of formation or reformation anywhere, a being whose instinct hated the truth. The passionate tenacity of hunters, woodmen, early risers, cultivators of gardens and orchards and fields, the love of healthy women for the manly form, seafaring persons, drivers of horses, the passion for light and the open air, all is an old varied sign of the unfailing perception of beauty and of a residence of the poetic in outdoor people. Sanity and ensemble characterize the great masterspoilt in one principle, all is spoilt. No disguise can pass on it no disguise can conceal from it.
Liberty takes the adherence of heroes wherever man and woman existbut never takes any adherence or welcome from the rest more than from poets. Their Presidents shall not be their common referee so much as their poets shall. Not so the great psalm of the republic. They shall not be careful of riches and privilege they shall be riches and privilege they shall perceive who the most affluent man is. The soul of the nation also does its work.
Other states indicate themselves in their deputies but the genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges or churches or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors but always most in the common people. Who recruits him recruits horse and foot he fetches parks of artillery the best that engineer ever knew. Who troubles himself about his ornaments or fluency is lost. The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity. Is he beloved long and long after he is buried? If payment is not received within two weeks, we will cancel the transaction.
They are of usethey dissolve poverty from its need, and riches from its conceit. As the attributes of the poets of the kosmos concenter in the real body, and in the pleasure of things, they possess the superiority of genuineness over all fiction and romance. Let who may exalt or startle or fascinate or soothe, I will have purposes as health or heat or snow has, and be as regardless of observation. What is the purpose must surely be there and the clue of it must be there and the faintest indication is the indication of the best and then becomes the clearest indication. High up out of reach he stands, turning a concentrated lighthe turns the pivot with his fingerhe baffles the swiftest runners as he stands, and easily overtakes and envelopes them.
His brain is the ultimate brain. The most affluent man is he that confronts all the shows he sees by equivalents out of the stronger wealth of himself. The power to destroy or remould is freely used by the greatest poet, but seldom the power of attack. The turn of their necks, the sound of their feet, the motions of their wrists, are full of hazard to the one and hope to the other. He judges not as the judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing. But it has sympathy as measureless as its pride and the one balances the other and neither can stretch too far while it stretches in company with the other. Lawrence with the Falls and beautiful masculine Hudson, do not embouchure where they spend themselves more than they embouchure into him.
He is most wonderful in his last half-hidden smile or frown; by that flash of the moment of parting the one that sees it shall be encouraged or terrified afterward for many years. The depths are fathomless and therefore calm. He is no irresolute or suspicious loverhe is surehe scorns intervals. Has anyone fancied he could sit at last under some due authority, and rest satisfied with explanations, and realize, and be content and full? What has ever happened what happens and whatever may or shall happen, the vital laws enclose all they are sufficient for any case and for all cases none to be hurried or retarded any miracle of affairs or persons inadmissible in the vast clear scheme where every motion and every spear of grass and the frames and spirits of men and women and all that concerns them are unspeakably perfect miracles all referring to all and each distinct and in its place. Whitman's preface to Leaves of Grass.
Here is action untied from strings necessarily blind to particulars and details magnificently moving in vast masses. In the need of poems, philosophy, politics, mechanism, science, behavior, the craft of art, an appropriate native grand opera, shipcraft, or any craft, he is greatest for ever and ever who contributes the greatest original practical example. Faith is the antiseptic of the soul it pervades the common people and preserves them they never give up believing and expecting and trusting. The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem. The American poets are to enclose old and new for America is the race of races. Walt Whitman: This is what you shall do This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.
This listing is for the print only, your item will be unframed. He shall know that the ground is always ready ploughed and manured others may not know it but he shall. We affirm there can be unnumbered Supremes, and that one does not countervail another any more than one eyesight countervails another and that men can be good or grand only of the consciousness of their supremacy within them. As soon as histories are properly told there is no more need of romances. He is not one of the chorus he does not stop for any regulation he is the president of regulation.