Tribute to Walt Whitman / caterpillar poets

Another Walt Whitman poem I wrote can be found here. I’ve read very little of Leaves of Grass but am inspired by Whitman nonetheless! Peace to your !


Tribute to Walt Whitman
who revised Leaves of Grass repeatedly until he died

Sculptors of marble chip and chip away.
Potters knead and shape their lumps of clay.
Poets create, through words alone,
What never cracks, is never set in stone.

caterpillar poets

Oh, to be a Whitman!
   They digest Leaves of Grass.

Living day by daydreams…
   these, too, shall pass.

Eating, dreaming, dying—
   without flying.

Poem title from chapter 58 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.

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
legacy,
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 !