Sunday, August 02, 2009

Walt Whitman's Angel

This is a sculpture I just finished. Its called Walt Whitman's Angel.

Lately, I have been fascinated, ( maybe even obsessed) with Walt Whitman.
His poetry and life are a bottomless source of inspiration.
He explored the nature of life and death in many poems, years before he even witnessed the horrors of the civil war and comforted dying soldiers in the hospitals of Washington DC.
In leaves of Grass he writes:

I will make the true poem of riches....
And I will show that there is no imperfection in the present, and can be none in the future,
And I will show that whatever happens to anybody it may be turn'd to beautiful results,
And I will show that nothing can happen more beautiful than death,
And I will thread a thread through my poems that time and events are compact,
And that all things of the universe are perfect miracles, each as profound as any.

I imagine him comforting the dying soldiers. He must have seemed like some strange large bearded angel helping them pass onto the next world, watching their souls leave their destroyed bodies. In his own estimation he tended 80 to 100 thousand wounded men. And yet he still saw beauty in everything, even death.

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