Has anyone supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.

I pass death with the dying, and birth with the new-washed babe … and am not contained between my hat and boots,
And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one good,
The earth good, and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.

I am not an earth nor an adjunct of the earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and fathomless as myself,
They do not know how immortal, but I know.

Yes! Whitman knows what it is like to die because he is dead! This voice of a poet speaking from the other world to the future generations is what I love in Whitman. It appears throughout his poetry, connecting the people who read it and telling them of the universality of human experience. A shocking statement saying that it is lucky to be dead is followed by soothing images of birth, earth and stars. Whitman doesn’t wish to upset us, but to unite us, to be our immortal “mate and companion”.

One Response to “the poet of the future”

  1. kosneda says:

    Bojana, I also like these lines. Whitman is like a prophet, giving me (us) a strenght to think about death from an optimistic point of view.

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