"Lo, body and soul" — "Beat! beat! drums!" — "Bearing the bandages, water and sponge"

Junior year, thru a convoluted chain of circumstances, I found myself in possession of an omnibus edition of Walt Whitman's poetry. Now that I actually have time to read for pleasure, I've been making my way thru the leaves, taking the opportunity to connect with a part of my cultural heritage.

Many of the poems, of course, are famous in their own right — this is far from my first exposure to "O Captain! My Captain" or the rambling "Song of Myself". Many of the others, unsurprisingly, are totally new to me, obscure outpourings from the nineteenth century. Some of them are striking, others forgettable, but they're all new to me. But then there are the ones I know thru a sideways route, the ones that composers have set — in whole or in part — to music that I know well.

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