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I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing -- Walt Whitman

Guest poem submitted by Zenobia Driver:
(Poem #508) I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing
 I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
 All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
 Without any companion it stood there uttering joyous leaves of dark green,
 And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
 But I wondered how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there
        without its friend near, for I knew I could not,
 And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it,
        and twined around it a little moss,
 And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,
 It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,
 (For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,)
 Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;
 For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana
        solitary in a wide flat space,
 Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend or lover near,
 I know very well I could not.
-- Walt Whitman
I was reminded of this poem by the ending of 'Wild Geese' [1]. Coincidentally i
was thinking of Whitman's poem this morning anyway - I find it very soothing,
and I love trees and somehow the poem seems to comfort and ward off loneliness
as well. And I really like the description of the tree in the poem...

Zenobia Driver.

[1] Zenobia submitted today's poem back in May, the day we ran Mary Oliver's
'Wild Geese'. You can read the latter poem at poem #426

21 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

SLydonHutchinson said...

Sometimes I wonder what Whitman is talking about.

Anonymous said...

i think he's talking about masturbation...

Anonymous said...

i believe whitman is just talking about how life in solitude is utterly lonely. he cannot leave alone, but others can. and he wonders about that. even if some people (the twig and leaves) leave others (the tree), they (the tree) can still survive and continue to grow magnificently. however, if it is him, he'll be so sad he could die.

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