June 02, 2007

New York State of Mind

Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman, 1892

I was in New York a few weeks ago, and I didn't realize how much I've missed the teeming hugeness of it, and the way there are always 100 different scales of interaction happening in parallel. Good ol' Walt understood that too (of course):

City of orgies, walks and joys,
City whom that I have lived and snug in your midst will one day make you illustrious,
Not the pageants of you, not your shifting tableaus, your spectacles, repay me,
Not the interminable rows of your houses, nor the ships at the wharves,
Nor the processions in the streets, nor the bright windows with goods in them,
Nor to converse with learn'd persons, or bear my share in the soiree or feast;
Not those, but as I pass O Manhattan, your frequent and swift flash of eyes offering me love,
Offering response to my own -- these repay me,
Lovers, continual lovers, only repay me.

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