I often imagine taking a walk with Walt down a long country road, a dirt road, with puddles of mud and thick grass on either side.
And his poetry, as I read it out loud, are the “lyrics” of the conversation we would have.
Right now I am reading “Faith Poem” as we walk down the road (Tobacco Road, let’s call it, since life is real in North Carolina):
“I do not doubt there is far more in trivialities, insects, vulgar persons, slaves, dwarfs, weeds, rejected refuse, than I have supposed;
“I do not doubt there is more in myself than I have supposed – and more in all men and women – and more in my poems than I have supposed”
So we are talking, maybe smoking, and though I am black, we don’t focus on his reference to slaves, because for a moment,
for the duration of this walk, we have both released/escaped/overcome our individual identity claims.
I adore Emily Dickinson, and frankly I worship the ground she walks on (“The only way to approach ED is on your knees”).
Her poems are a fountain that constantly flows, constantly refreshes.
But I’d never take a walk down a long country road with Emily. No reflection on Emily, but just the relationship I have with Walt.