Each Poem, A Boat

Walt Whitman from the frontispiece to Leaves of Grass, first published in 1855.

12 February 2023

By Philip Kuepper

Why is it, just now,
the number 55
has grabbed hold my attention,
and cause me think
the year 1855,
and think that was the year
Leaves of Grass was published?
Was it? Let me check.
I’ve checked. It was.
Why did I know that?
Thinking of which has given on
to my thinking of The Waste Land.
There was the Nineteenth Century,
with the Civil War arage,
and the land is sown with leaves of grass,
while the Twentieth Century,
with World War I arage,
the land is laid waste;
the collective conscious gone
from optimism to pessimism?
Each poem is a boat
plying the Sea of Conscious,
each book a port
in the storm of history.
I sow the waste with grass.

(3 February 2023)

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