Mysterious Walt Whitman Syndrome (MWWS)

No, there isn’t really a Mysterious Walt Whitman Syndrome (MWWS).  I just made it up, if that was not already glaringly apparent.  Well, I don’t know, it has a nice ring to it.  Maybe you totally thought Mysterious Walt Whitman Syndrome (MWWS) is a real, totally serious affliction.

In a way it is.  Whitman was kind of a sneaky bastard.  He knew that anyone who chanced to read “Song of Myself” could easily get entranced by his hippie propaganda, his transcendental lyricism, his flamboyant and garish charm, his very David-Bowie-foreshadowing ideas of free love.  Clearly this was just part of Whitman’s scheme to continue writing poetry once deceased, by channeling himself through centuries of poets to come, mostly idealists.

I am speaking as a new victim of Mysterious Walt Whitman Syndrome (MWWS).  When I initially sat down to write an Informative and Insightful blog post, this poem appeared instead.  It was really weird.  I’m afflicted.

Elegy for a dock no longer there
 
Whether or not it was the wine
I drank before I slept, before they woke me
 
at three or two, the shadow of morning cast,
pulled from bed, from a dream
 
to something of a similar sensation,
 
doubtless there was something of magic
in drifting out of doors, the way the lamplight lit the mist.
 
And they brought me to a ground living dock
where we sat rooted before a bay of living grass,
 
the scattering of stars so stunning
we pressed our backs to the wood,
 
our retinas waded the abyss,
and it was just one of those nights
 
when life deafens us to everything
and beauty falls upon us like spring rain.
 
I found it on my own once, one day,
the field where we once found ourselves,
 
instantly to find no trace of the dock
I sought in silent prayer, since then
 
now gone and so a living dream,
 
so it may stay forever
flowing in its form,
 
electricity crackling through beaded mist,
the incantation of beauty.

One Response to “Mysterious Walt Whitman Syndrome (MWWS)”

  1. khenion02 says:

    At least the idea of free love can be idealized by some people as a good thing other than in Realism where everything is doom and gloom. Some writers , whether poets or novelists, in Realism have a really bumped perception of life and when Whitman gives a sensation of the beautiful, it makes it worthwhile to read him. Though I somewhat agree that his writings can seem to be over idealized. But, never the less, it is a breath of fresh air to have someone of his era to have some happy moments within his writing.