Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Sun refulgent

A Summer Invocation
By Walt Whitman

Thou orb aloft full dazzling,
Flooding with sheeny light the grey beach sand;
Thou sibilant near sea, with vistas far, and foam,
And tawny streaks and shades, and spreading blue;
Before I sing the rest, O sun refulgent,
My special word to thee.

Hear me, illustrious!
Thy lover me - for always I have loved thee,
Even as basking babe - then happy boy alone by some wood edge - thy
touching distant beams enough,
Or man matured, or young or old - as now to thee I launch my invocation.
(Thou canst not with thy dumbness me deceive.
I know before the fitting man all Nature yields.
Though answering not in words, the skies, trees, hear his voice - and thou,
O sun,
As for thy throes, thy perturbations, sudden breaks and shafts of flame gigantic,
I understand them - I know those flames, those perturbations well.)

Thou that with fructifying heat and light,
O'er myriad forms - o'er lands and waters, North and South,
O'er Mississippi's endless course, o'er Texas' grassy plains, Kanada's woods,
O'er all the globe, that turns its face to thee, shining in space,
Thou that impartially enfoldest all - not only continents, seas,
Thou that to grapes and weeds and little wild flowers givest so liberally,
Shed, shed thyself on mine and me - mellow these lines.
Fuse thyself here - with but a fleeting ray out of thy million millions,

Strike through this chant.
Nor only launch thy subtle dazzle and thy strength for this;
Prepare the later afternoon of me myself - prepare my lengthening shadows.
Prepare my starry nights.

It's the Mid-summer Solstice, the longest day, Festa Junina, Sommersonnenwende, Uttarayana, Saint John's Eve, Majstång, Litha...

...whatever you call it, the nights start drawing in from here on, folks!


  1. Love the poem. perfect for a sunny Missummers day.
    I always find it a bitter sweet celibration nowing that it is also the begining of the end of Summer.
    Lets be like 'Walt' and make the most of the sun while we have it.

    1. Indeed - we need to spend as much time as possible in the "fructifying heat and light" while we can! Jx

  2. In my small corner...we shall face weeks of biting, skin-scouring Westerlies and then hot dry endless days before The Rains. See? Wherever in the world we live, we moan about the weather. It's not a bloody English prerogative, y'know! Thanks for the Whitman.xx

    1. I prefer the unpredictability of the British weather - it gives us something to talk about. Jx

  3. Old Walt. What was he hiding behind that beard of his? Hmm. Lovely illustration. So full of life. Illustrators blow me away with their talent and ability to infuse a space with color and energy. Sort of what you do when you walk the streets, dear. Or so I hear... Kizzes.

    1. Are you calling me a slut? Uh-huh, uh-huh. Jx

      PS I have a bit of a love/hate thing with Mr Witman, closet-beard or otherwise - but I loved this one.
      PPS Yes - Erté was a genius!

  4. And now the countdown to Christmas begins!

    1. Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both. - Oscar Wilde


  5. I'm not sure what I think of Beyoncé cavorting with those midgets, and I've gone right off peaches now.

    As for the poem, Canada with a K? Does The Very Mistress know about this??

    1. Ha!

      As for the erroneous "K", it's a historical thing - apparently poets use it to make themselves sound cultured. Jx


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