Four and Twenty Minds
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) ... Show synopsis This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1922 edition. Excerpt: ... posed of verses so long as to fill two or three lines of print. I read them--I breathed in the poetry of the sea, of the city, of the universe--without a thought of the pale scholars who count the syllables of a soul in emotion as they would count, if they could, the notes of the nightingale that sings for love. And I must confess that I, a Tuscan, an Italian, a Latin, learned the meaning of poetry not through Virgil or through Dante--much less through the casuist Petrarch or the mosaicist Tasso, poets de luxe, and therefore men of letters rather than poets--but through the puerile enumerations and the long, passionate invocations of the good reaper of the Leaves of Grass. Even today, though so many years have passed, I cannot read without emotion the Whispers of Heavenly Death or There Was a Child Went Forth. Later on I read the Leaves of Grass in English, became acquainted, through thick American volumes, with the life and the countenance of Whitman, and studied in Jannacone's little book the metrical questions raised by Whitman's verse. But I have never forgotten those wondrous hours of my boyhood. I am not saying all this for the sake of writing an uncalled-for bit of spiritual autobiography, but just to explain why I cannot speak of Whitman as if he were one of the ordinary foreign poets reserved for special importation by professors in female seminaries, and to make it clear that I can speak of him only as a loving brother may speak of a brother beloved, as a humble younger brother may speak of a great elder brother who is dead. How glad I would be if I might convey to others something of my deep affection, if I might present to my readers a living, faithful image of the soul of the poet whom I love--a soul childlike and great, ..