Friday, September 11, 2009

Whitman a blogger? Who knew?

Several times during each work week I make the trek to my local Chapter's bookstore during lunch. Although my job affords a delicious freedom to come and go from my desk as I wish, it's always a welcomed break to feel the sun, taste the (relatively) fresh air and go to a place where I can also feed my mind.

Today I decided to spend some more time in the Poetry section, which I frequent fairly regularly. While sifting through the works of several writers my eyes chanced upon 'Leaves of Grass' (Deathbed Edition), a collection of Whitman's works published in 1892. 'Deathbed' refers to his view that this was the definitive presentation of his work, published two months before his passing.

This seemed an orchestrated coincidence, if one believes in such things, as I had heard several references to the poet over the course of this past week. I had eaten prior to leaving, so this was my literary dessert.

One poem in particular grabbed my attention:

"O You Whom I Often and Silently Come"

O you whom I often and silently come where you are, that I may be with you;
As I walk by your side, or sit near, or remain in the same room with you,
Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is
playing within me.

-Walt Whitman, 1819-1892

Despite being over a hundred years old it struck me as incredibly relevant to our blogging world, particularly for those on whose pages we briefly light and leave just as quickly. We can silently come to where our fellow writers are and sit near them for a while. But if we don't take a minute to leave our mark, even a fleeting ripple to let them know we were there, they'll never know how deeply their words may have resonated.

I'm sure most of us leave a comment upon reading something we strongly relate to; I think it's inherently within our nature to reach out to those with whom we connect. I desperately hope so, because many people need to know the subtle electric fire they leave playing within us.

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