My Whitman

Walt Whitman was the idol of my youth.
He stood before me in all growth still 1901 year - sixty-eight years ago,. I bought for a quarter of his book at some sailors in the port of Odessa, and book immediately swallowed me whole head.
It was a giant book, detached from all the details of our life ant. I was shocked by the novelty of his conception of life and began to look with new eyes at all, around me, - the stars, women, on a blade of grass grass, on animals, the sea horizon, the whole of human life usage. All this came before me, lights up with millions of suns, against the backdrop of countless thousands of centuries.
In my youthful heart I found most sympathetic response and calls for ecstatic friendship, and his bright hymns equality, labor, democracy, and his joyous intoxication of its existence, and his daring speech in praise of the emancipation of the flesh, so frightened the then hypocrites.
Naturally, I wanted to attach to my uitmenianstvu the greatest possible number of people, and I began to bungle, helplessly translating those poems Whitman, that most excited me. Excerpts from those of my translations have appeared in a few years (1907 city) in my first book, devoted to Whitman and published in the edition of "Young Mug" (at St. Petersburg University). Translations were weak, Now I am ashamed and read them. But the book is that an excuse, she awoke in the Russian hot interest in Walt Whitman. This can be seen by the large number due to its newspaper and magazine reviews (in the "Field" magazine, "Russian Thought", "Conversation", in "Rus" newspaper, "Today", "Fellow" et al.).
Needless to say, that in a few years, feeling of guilt before Whitman, I began to translate it again, anew, closer to the original, not podslaschaya and decorating it. AT 1918 , the third edition of my book publishing A. M. Gorky "Sail". AT 1919 year - the fourth - the publisher of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies (And with an afterword. AT. Lunacharskogo). Further editions of the book - in 1922, 1923, 1931, 1932, 1935 years. AT 1944 year book published tenth edition. Here Walt Whitman presented a much fuller, than in my other books about him.
More poems of Walt Whitman in two Russian collection "Leaves of Grass", published in Goslitizdat in 1953 and 1955 years. No doubt, that the time is nearing, when we have taken the academic complete edition of the works of the Bard overseas.
But the strange thing! - recently, leafing through the latest Russian edition of Walt Whitman, I, to his surprise, had seen, that they no longer feel in his poems of the magic, of "magnetism", that so enchanted the me, when I read their young eyes. Some even seemed boring.
Of course, great cognitive value of the most complete translation of the verses of the great poet of America, but, I hope, I just wish, Really, perfectly legal, - resurrected (for themselves and for the new generation of readers) Walt Whitman my youth, that is reproduced in this book, only those verses, What influenced me most of all in the fertile period of my life, when the human mind is most receptive to poetry. And everything else, then, that seemed alien and uninteresting, I decided not to include in this unassuming collection.
No scientific purposes in "My Whitman's" no. Poems are not distributed according to genre features, not in chronological order, and in the same order, in which they were received by me. Some texts are not entirely, and fragments - so, I read them then.
tell: This subjective approach, vkusovshtina. Still would! After all poems are written not later, to serve as the material for the various literary opus and pseudoscientific doctrines. Poets, creating their, dream of, to readers (mostly young) perceived them emotionally, with all my heart, finding in them a response of its own Dumas, to experience them subjectively, as the events of his own life.
That's what I took as a youth space poetry Whitman. The last thing she was to me the historical and literary phenomenon. Its main advantage for me was that, she gave me a new vision of how to, enriched my new - wide and joyful - a vision of the world. I hope so too, there will be readers, who perceive it the same way. And those readers, who want to explore the poetry of Walt Whitman in the literary and historical terms, I refer to the above collections 1953 and 1955 years.

His poetry

1

Now, when we conquer space, us with an extraordinary poetic power closer, all native becomes a great poet overseas, who felt and sang in the original verses boundless breadth of the universe.
his personality Here is the essence of. This is the source of his inspiration and literary wins.
To some extent, this is inherent in every sense of. Man lives in his inner life, and suddenly remembers, that our Earth is only a speck of dust in the Milky Way forever the streaming, that billions of kilometers and millions of centuries surround our lives worldwide and that the space, eg, those rays, who came to us from the stars of Hercules, We were dozens of thousands of years to sweep through the "fierce cold mezhduzvezdnyh voids", before we saw them. This "fierce frost mezhduzvezdnyh emptiness" felt by us only occasionally, when we read in the newspapers report about flying to the moon or Venus, or visit the planetarium, or find ourselves in the field, away from people, alone with "the midnight abyss":

Eh I rushed to the abyss of the midnight?
Ile hosts of stars swept me?
It seemed, if in the hand of the powerful
Above this abyss I hung.

(BUT. Fet)
But that person is feeling to visit for an hour, For a moment, and then depart and be forgotten, shielded by everyday zhiteyschinoy.
This feeling - for a new humanity, Animals did not know him. Owing to its biological novelty it had not yet firmly entrenched in the human psyche.
And Walt Whitman carried this feeling is always.
We do not know of another poet, which to an extent it would be imbued with a sense of infinite time and space. It was a living, real sense, constant companion all his thoughts. Any person, any very small thing, which met him on the road, he saw, so to speak, on the background of cosmic spaces. At the same background, and he perceived himself:

I only point, a floating atom in the desert worlds ...

That is why his poems are so often seem verses astronaut:

I visit the gardens and watch the planets, Do good fruit,
I look at quintillion quintillion ripe and unripe.

Characterized by his love for the astronomical figures - millions, kvintilionam, billions:

Trillions of springs and winters, we have long been exhausted,
But left we still have trillions, and further, and even trillions of ...
Millions of suns left we ...
That moment - she got to me after a billion other, it is better to have nothing ...

Million - unit of measure. Here he looks at you, but he does not see you, and the chain of your ancestors and descendants, in which you - a momentary link. Ask him, what time is it now, and he will answer: eternity. I have not met anyone, who have been so acutely aware of the variability, flow, beguchest things, who would have been so receptive to the eternal space dynamics.
astronomy, Celestial Mechanics is at the time of his youth Whitman has made tremendous progress in the Americas. The first observatory - Cincinnati, in Philadelphia, Cambridge - are built in the forties and fifties of the XIX century. Whitman loved astronomy from an early age almost more than all other sciences. Do celestial mechanics truth because often he turned to poetry?

There is not a moment stop, and can not be stopped,
If I, and you, and all the worlds, how much, and all, what
to them and under them, Again at this moment reduced to
pale fluid nebula, it would be
trifle with our long journey,
We would come back here again, where we are now!,
And here would go further, on and on ...
Several centuries quadrillion, several oktilenov
cubic miles will not delay this moment,
not make her hurry,
They - only a portion of, and all - only a portion of.

How far no see, for thy dalyu have given,
count, as much as you want, - countless years.

("Song of Myself")
Under the inspiration of these sensations, and he created his only book "Leaves of Grass".

Great thoughts of space and time is now overshadow me.
Them I will measure myself ...

Flowers in my hat - a product of a thousand centuries ...

("Song of Myself")
The more expensive it these flowers, he tangibly feels, what immensity embodied in them.
Aware himself involved in this eternal cycle of matter, he feels behind him millions of ages and an endless chain of prehistoric ancestors, starting with the simplest amoeba:

Long worked the universe, to create a me ...
vortices Mirow, circling, I wore my cradle ...
Stars themselves inferior to me a place ...
As long as I did not come out of the mother, generation guided my path,
My fetus in centuries not lazy, nothing could detain him.

("Song of Myself")
Such a lively sense of the cycle of matter could arise only in the middle of the XIX century, when world youth best of Old World and New World began to powerfully influence the latest discoveries of geology, Biochemistry, paleontology and other natural sciences, then experiencing rapid flowering. It is in this era of science put forward and substantiated the law of evolution as a single overarching principle of scientific comprehension of the world. Whitman with his lively sense of fluidity, variability of all existence could not be found in the evolutionary theories of support for their sense of space. The depth of these theories was not available to him, but their latitude was deeply sensed and understood them before the end of, for it here, as everywhere, first of all a poet latitude. Science fifties - sixties of the XIX century was opened a man immensely advanced space. Walt Whitman was the first great singer of this new space:

Ur positive sciences! long live exact experiments!
This - mathematician, the - geologist, he works with a scalpel.
gentlemen! you first bow and honor!

("Song of Myself")
His poem "This humus" is truly scientific poem, which is experienced emotionally and feel the chemical transformation of matter. If those scientists, which told the story about it in his books, - at least Justus Liebig, author of "chemical letters", and Jacob Moleschott, author of "Circle of Life", so popular in Russia at that time, - were endowed with poetic talent, they would have written this poem just so, as it is written by Whitman.
In this poem, he says about the millions of dead people, which for thousands of years the land is devouring the cemetery:

Where are you Deval these corpses, land?
These drunkards and gluttons fatty, dying from generation to generation?
Where are you Deval this rotten meat, that stinking muck?
Today, they can not see anywhere else, or, may be, I'm wrong?
So I spend my furrow plow, I'll go deep in the ground with a shovel and turn the top layer,
And underneath, I'm sure, will stinking meat.
Peer is in the land! consider it well!
May be, each grain of the earth was once a particle of the patient - and yet look!
Prairie covered with spring grass,
And silent explosions sprout beans on ridges,
And gentle bow lance, piercing the air, punched up.
And each branch apple dotted clusters kidney ...
And the summer green proud and innocent on these layers of dead.
what chemistry!

("This humus")
When you read these poems Whitman, clearly see, those popular-science books, which have had such a great influence on the ideology of our "thinking realists" of the sixties and first of all on their leader and mastermind Pisarev, were sufficiently well known author of "Leaves of Grass".
Sometimes even taste felt in his poems vulgar materialism of the Buchner "matter and energy", with which the novel Turgenev's Bazarov raznochinets tried to attach to the nihilism of old-Russian "feudal".
The idea that positive doctrine Walt Whitman moved to live sensations, often raising them to high ecstasies. This has left him quite naturally, as he was on his spiritual nature "cosmists". "The broad idea of ​​space and time" was a youth are inherent to it.
Cosmism Walt Whitman fed not only the evolutionary theories of natural sciences of the time, but equally, and perhaps, and more - the idealistic philosophy of Hegel, Schelling, Kant. It is also clearly heard in "Leaves of Grass" echoes of the sacred mystical books of ancient India and contemporary transcendental teachings of Carlyle and Emerson. Underestimate or to ignore these influences - then deviate from the truth. The impact of the impact on hundreds of pages. All the poetry of Whitman - from the first to the last word - is permeated with devout admiration before the divine harmony of the universe.
In a later preface to his poems he wrote,:
"With a joyful heart, I took the achievements of modern science, without hesitation, I became one of her most loyal supporters, but still, in my opinion, there are even higher ups, higher value - Immortal Soul Man ".
Persistently he repeated in "Leaves of Grass":

I swear, I finally understood the, that each item in the universe has immortal soul ...
Soul! it is ruled by the planet you,
Time is your brother and companion, you smile happily Death,
You fill up the whole expanse of the world's space.

("Cane")
Speaking of poetry Whitman, Soviet writer D. Mirsky, its profound expert and connoisseur, strongly rebelling against counterfeiters of the Poetry:
"Would, - he wrote, - grossly wrong to gloss over its anti-revolutionary and mystical moments ... Mystic Whitman sanction system quite clearly given in the fifth section of "Song of Myself" in the language, well-known to everyone, who is familiar with the writings of the classics of mysticism ".
Logically, these two worldviews, idealism and materialism, inconsistent, one excludes the other, but it lies in the fact paradoxical originality Whitman, he tries in all his poems intuitively, Logic is a synthesis of the two irreconcilable philosophical systems. Both helped him to express, at least in vague and obscure words, "Cosmic enthusiasm", inherent in it, regardless of any scientific and philosophical doctrines.

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