Walt Whitman

If Walt had a fault,
it was his
revising and re-

vising and revis-
ing and re-
vising Leaves of Grass.

Poems multiplied
like rabbits:
twelve at first; at last,

over four hundred.
When he died,
still dissatisfied,

he left as a vast
a magnum opus

of one and many,
each volume
a hymn of his whim.

© Stephanie Malley
Poem title from chapter 15 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.

NaPoWriMo21 Day 17 – I didn’t use today’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt.

Serendipity again! On day 15 I skipped the prompt–to write about a habit you inherited from your parents–and posted a poem about the moon. Today, when the prompt is to write about the moon, I’m able to post this poem in lune form(!) that I wrote last evening, about the multiple versions of Leaves of Grass we inherited from Whitman’s habit of constantly revising. I’m pretending the two poems were switched at birth. Peace to your !


  1. Alana says:

    Brilliant! Love the play with sound! And breaking re- / vising over lines. And what an image of poems multiplying like rabbits.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s