To the Spring and Brook

by


To the Spring and Brook reads as a piece of prose poetry, excerpted from Complete Prose Works of Walt Whitman (1892). Whitman wrote in 1876: "I find the woods in mid-May and early June my best places for composition."
An illustration for the story To the Spring and Brook by the author Walt Whitman
Grigoriy Myasoyedov, Forest Creek, Spring 1890
An illustration for the story To the Spring and Brook by the author Walt Whitman
Grigoriy Myasoyedov, Forest Creek, Spring 1890
An illustration for the story To the Spring and Brook by the author Walt Whitman

So, still sauntering on, to the spring under the willows—musical as soft clinking glasses-pouring a sizeable stream, thick as my neck, pure and clear, out from its vent where the bank arches over like a great brown shaggy eyebrow or mouth-roof—gurgling, gurgling ceaselessly—meaning, saying something, of course (if one could only translate it)—always gurgling there, the whole year through—never giving out—oceans of mint, blackberries in summer—choice of light and shade—just the place for my July sun-baths and water-baths too—but mainly the inimitable soft sound-gurgles of it, as I sit there hot afternoons. How they and all grow into me, day after day—everything in keeping—the wild, just-palpable perfume, and the dappled leaf-shadows, and all the natural-medicinal, elemental-moral influences of the spot.

Babble on, O brook, with that utterance of thine! I too will express what I have gather'd in my days and progress, native, subterranean, past—and now thee. Spin and wind thy way—I with thee, a little while, at any rate. As I haunt thee so often, season by season, thou knowest, reckest not me, (yet why be so certain? who can tell?)—but I will learn from thee, and dwell on thee—receive, copy, print from thee.


To the Spring and Brook was featured as The Short Story of the Day on Wed, May 18, 2022

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