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Leaves of Grass
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Leaves of Grass
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  • Then falter not O book, fulfil your destiny, You not a reminiscence of the land alone, You too as a lone bark cleaving the ether, purpos’d I know not whither, yet ever full of faith, Consort to every ship that sails, sail you!
  • He puts things in their attitudes, He puts to-day out of himself with plasticity and love, He places his own times, reminiscences, parents, brothers and sisters, associations, employment, politics, so that the rest never shame them afterward, nor assume to command them.
  • And who are you, blabbing by rote, years, pages, languages, reminiscences, Unwitting to-day that you do not know how to speak properly a single word?
  • No Labor-Saving Machine No labor-saving machine, Nor discovery have I made, Nor will I be able to leave behind me any wealthy bequest to found hospital or library, Nor reminiscence of any deed of courage for America, Nor literary success nor intellect; nor book for the book-shelf, But a few carols vibrating through the air I leave, For comrades and lovers.
  • 4 A reminiscence of the vulgar fate, A frequent sample of the life and death of workmen, Each after his kind.
  • In Cabin’d Ships at Sea In cabin’d ships at sea, The boundless blue on every side expanding, With whistling winds and music of the waves, the large imperious waves, Or some lone bark buoy’d on the dense marine, Where joyous full of faith, spreading white sails, She cleaves the ether mid the sparkle and the foam of day, or under many a star at night, By sailors young and old haply will I, a reminiscence of the land, be read, In full rapport at last.
  • …faces and guttural exclamations, The setting out of the war-party, the long and stealthy march, The single file, the swinging hatchets, the surprise and slaughter of enemies; All the acts, scenes, ways, persons, attitudes of these States, reminiscences, institutions, All these States compact, every square mile of these States without excepting a particle; Me pleas’d, rambling in lanes and country fields, Paumanok’s fields, Observing the spiral flight of two little yellow butterflies…
  • …to cease, From the myriad thence-arous’d words, From the word stronger and more delicious than any, From such as now they start the scene revisiting, As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing, Borne hither, ere all eludes me, hurriedly, A man, yet by these tears a little boy again, Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves, I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter, Taking all hints to use them, but swiftly leaping beyond them, A reminiscence sing.
  • To glide with thee O soul, o’er all, in all, as a ship o’er the waters; Gathering these hints, the preludes, the blue sky, the grass, the morning drops of dew, The lilac-scent, the bushes with dark green heart-shaped leaves, Wood-violets, the little delicate pale blossoms called innocence, Samples and sorts not for themselves alone, but for their atmosphere, To grace the bush I love—to sing with the birds, A warble for joy of returning in reminiscence.
  • 6 Then I woke softly, And pausing, questioning awhile the music of my dream, And questioning all those reminiscences, the tempest in its fury, And all the songs of sopranos and tenors, And those rapt oriental dances of religious fervor, And the sweet varied instruments, and the diapason of organs, And all the artless plaints of love and grief and death, I said to my silent curious soul out of the bed of the slumber-chamber, Come, for I have found the clew I sought so long, Let us go…
  • …minute, With deep half-stifled sobs and sound of bad men bow’d and moved to weeping, And youth’s convulsive breathings, memories of home, The mother’s voice in lullaby, the sister’s care, the happy childhood, The long-pent spirit rous’d to reminiscence; A wondrous minute then—but after in the solitary night, to many, many there, Years after, even in the hour of death, the sad refrain, the tune, the voice, the words, Resumed, the large calm lady walks the narrow aisle, The wailing…
  • …brother of slaves, Crafty, despised, a drudge, ignorant, With sudra face and worn brow, black, but in the depths of my heart, proud as any, Lifted now and always against whoever scorning assumes to rule me, Morose, full of guile, full of reminiscences, brooding, with many wiles, (Though it was thought I was baffled, and dispel’d, and my wiles done, but that will never be,) Defiant, I, Satan, still live, still utter words, in new lands duly appearing, (and old ones also,) Permanent…
  • …The touch of flame—the illuminating fire—the loftiest look at last, O’er city, passion, sea—o’er prairie, mountain, wood—the earth itself, The airy, different, changing hues of all, in failing twilight, Objects and groups, bearings, faces, reminiscences; The calmer sight—the golden setting, clear and broad: So much i’ the atmosphere, the points of view, the situations whence we scan, Bro’t out by them alone—so much (perhaps the best) unreck’d before; The lights indeed from them—old…
  • FANCIES AT NAVESINK [I] The Pilot in the Mist Steaming the northern rapids—(an old St. Lawrence reminiscence, A sudden memory-flash comes back, I know not why, Here waiting for the sunrise, gazing from this hill;) Again ’tis just at morning—a heavy haze contends with daybreak, Again the trembling, laboring vessel veers me—I press through foam-dash’d rocks that almost touch me, Again I mark where aft the small thin Indian helmsman Looms in the mist, with brow elate and governing hand.
  • Warble for Lilac-Time Warble me now for joy of lilac-time, (returning in reminiscence,) Sort me O tongue and lips for Nature’s sake, souvenirs of earliest summer, Gather the welcome signs, (as children with pebbles or stringing shells,) Put in April and May, the hylas croaking in the ponds, the elastic air, Bees, butterflies, the sparrow with its simple notes, Blue-bird and darting swallow, nor forget the high-hole flashing his golden wings, The tranquil sunny haze, the clinging smoke,…
  • The Dying Veteran Amid these days of order, ease, prosperity, Amid the current songs of beauty, peace, decorum, I cast a reminiscence—(likely ’twill offend you, I heard it in my boyhood;)—More than a generation since, A queer old savage man, a fighter under Washington himself, (Large, brave, cleanly, hot-blooded, no talker, rather spiritualistic, Had fought in the ranks—fought well—had been all through the Revolutionary war,) Lay dying—sons, daughters, church-deacons, lovingly tending…

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  • Her best-selling reminiscences of life in rural Mississippi.
  • [He loses himself in reminiscences.]
    Arthur Miller  --  Death of a Salesman

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