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Walt Whitman

(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

The Prairie-Grass Dividing



THE prairie-grass dividing--its special odor breathing,
I demand of it the spiritual corresponding,
Demand the most copious and close companionship of men,
Demand the blades to rise of words, acts, beings,
Those of the open atmosphere, coarse, sunlit, fresh, nutritious,
Those that go their own gait, erect, stepping with freedom and
command--leading, not following,
Those with a never-quell'd audacity--those with sweet and lusty
flesh, clear of taint,
Those that look carelessly in the faces of Presidents and Governors,
as to say, Who are you?
Those of earth-born passion, simple, never-constrain'd, never
obedient,
Those of inland America. 10

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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