The penguin pocket edition of the 1885 version of "Song of Myself" -- which has slight differences from the deathbed edition version people are most accustomed to -- fits perfectly in ruck or pocket. I've read through it multiple times on the road. It's the version that inspired "Whitman By Moonlight." I've underlined and bracketed and breathed in different verses:
"I pass death with dying, and birth with the new-washed babe... an am not contained between my hate and boots,"
I wanted to take it with us to Fancy Farm because if there is any place Walt needs to be, it's around a bunch of politicians in their natural habitat of vulturing, hand kissing, and baby-shaking. After all, Uncle Walt was a journalist. Like any poet and any journalist, he was a pre-eminent muckraker... finding the story wherever it's buried.
When I dug out my copy of pocket Whitman, it was in pieces. I didn't have time to tape it together, and brought it anyway. After all, Uncle Walt would not have wanted to sit out when there's proper loafing and inviting of the soul to be done among the political princes and hopefuls here in Kentucky.
"I discover myself on the verge of my usual mistake."
I'll be tweeting live from Fancy Farm, (#FancyFarm) a uniquely Kentucky political party with bbq mutton and political spitting. Follow me on twitter (@dirtysacred) for current coverage of Mitch McConnell's under bite and the acute absence of Rand Paul. I'll leave you with a few inspirational words of Uncle Walt's:
"The sound of the belched words of my voice... words loosed to the eddies of the wind,
A few light kisses... a few embraces... a reaching around of arms..."
we're all in this together, Dear Friends and Readers.