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2e149e7955097.560b4b8d12122From the Editor

Welcome to Mickle Street Review!

Our online mobile-friendly journal showcases the importance of Whitman in his time and in ours, setting him and his writings in the context of an evolving America.

In addition to publishing brand new work, Mickle Street Review is committed to archiving and aggregating materials published elsewhere (in print and on the web) which enhance our understanding and enjoyment of the many ways in which Whitman figures for us. The addition of a live blog allows us to keep you abreast of Whitman’s multimedia performances, his tenacious cultural currency.

We are looking forward to bringing you the best and freshest faces of Whitman in the years to come!


From Whitman’s
“A child said, What is the grass?”

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? … I do not know what it is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners,
that we may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child … the produced babe of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother’s laps,
And here you are the mother’s laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward … and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section class=”x-hide-xl x-hide-lg ” style=”margin: 0px; padding: 45px 0px; ” bg_color=”#e5e5e5″][cs_row style=”margin: 0px auto; padding: 0px; ” inner_container=”true” bg_color=”#e5e5e5″][cs_column style=”padding: 0px; ” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″][cs_text text_align=”none”]

From the Editor

Welcome to Mickle Street Review!

Our online mobile-friendly journal showcases the importance of Whitman in his time and in ours, setting him and his writings in the context of an evolving America.

In addition to publishing brand new work, Mickle Street Review is committed to archiving and aggregating materials published elsewhere (in print and on the web) which enhance our understanding and enjoyment of the many ways in which Whitman figures for us. The addition of a live blog allows us to keep you abreast of Whitman’s multimedia performances, his tenacious cultural currency.

We are looking forward to bringing you the best and freshest faces of Whitman in the years to come!


From Whitman’s
“A child said, What is the grass?”

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? … I do not know what it is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners,
that we may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child … the produced babe of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother’s laps,
And here you are the mother’s laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward … and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section class=”x-hide-xl x-hide-lg ” style=”margin: 0px; padding: 45px 0px; border-style: double; border-width: 0px; ” bg_color=”#e5e5e5″][cs_row class=”left-text ” style=”margin: 0px auto; padding: 0px; ” inner_container=”true” bg_color=”#e5e5e5″][cs_column style=”padding: 0px; ” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″][x_widget_area sidebar=”ups-sidebar-about-page-sidebar” ][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section]