What is Grass? – Walt Whitman’s Beautiful Answer to this Question.

Walt Whitman on grass, life and death

“A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands, 
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.  

Walt Whitman on grass, life and death

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord, 
A scented gift and remembrance designedly dropt,
Bearing the owners’s name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose?

Walt Whitman on grass, life and death

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves. 

Tenderly will I use your curling grass, 
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men, 
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them, 
It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out of their mother’s laps. 

Walt Whitman on grass, life and death

What do you think has become of the young and old men? 
And what do you think has become of the women and children? 

They are alive and well somewhere
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, 
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, 
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses, 
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.”

 

–  Walt Whitman – Song of Myself – Sections of part 6 –

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