or a *.:49’144747 BOOK EXCERPT BY EDWARD HIRSCH the seaweed and sng bottle from the age and disturbing, w that someone turns The great Rugg nit vhfite -g camp, identified his friends, to those who are r “On the Addressee.” But of course those ily the people around him in daily life. he only hopes exist, or will exist, the one Mandelstam wrote: At a critical moment, a seafarer tosses a s ocean waves, containing his name and a message detailing his fate. Wandering along the dunes many years later, I happen upon it in the sand. I read the message, note the date, the testament of one who has passed on. I have the rt have not opened someone else’s mail was addressed to its finder. I foun its secret addressee. of consciousness itself, the joy of encountering “these forms,” the empowering sense of expectation and renewal, the whole world blooming at hand, the awakened mental state that takes us through our senses from the’least insect to the highest power of love. We scarcely turn the page, so much do we linger with pleasure over ecstatic beginning. We are instructed by Whitman in the joy of starting out that the deepest spirit of poetry is awe. Poetry is a way of inscribing that feeling of awe. I don’t think we , should uncterestimat e capacity for tenderness that poetry opens within us. AnotheR: the “Inscriptions” is a two-line poem that simply “To You,” it consists in its re to speak to me, ottle into the wrote:, wo strangers T.14 loiter and -ftt; 4gR 4 .7a”A 4-Xtrglit well es TO THE READER SETTI The reader of poetry poems to inscribe a beginning, tt `intro work, the one book he had been w y own book on the riskg.and thralls, the par merits, of reading poetry, I keep thinking of Whitma in “Beginning My Studies.” . . my studies’. the first step pleas’cl in so 11714C11, The mere fact c017SCiousness, these forms, the power of motion, The least Insect or animal, the senses, eyesight, love, The first step I say awed me and pleas’d me, so much, I have hardly gone and hardly wish’d to go any .farther, But stop and loiter all the tinie to sing it in ecstatic songs. I relish the way the Whitman lingers in this one-sentence poem over the very first step of studying, the mere fact the miracle -ea life he Itittrta ate ert poems to stranger4 a ers an po7 ,corrie,, to outsiders OV erywhere. Whoever you are, het would embrace’you. I love the deep affection and even need with which Whitman dedicates’and sends forth his poems to the individual reader. He leaves each of us a gift. To you, he says. they following chants, MERE AIR, THESE WORDS, BUT DELICIOUS TO HEAR I remember once walking through a museum in Athens and coming The reader is wha dle.” Reading po. perpetual begiit a kind of action: frame of mit’t love the fra ness, the fo that come Readiri Open t, you im 1..vNAS:QBSF.RVF,R m
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