Eric Torgersen


An Apple from Walt Whitman


There's never been a poet where I live,
but I grew up in the shade of Whitman's name:
born in West Hills—our hills—he would have walked
our paths along the crest. I walked Whitman Road,
crashed the Whitman Drive-In, stole a book
from the sci-fi rack at the Melville-Whitman Pharmacy,
even played lacrosse against Whitman High;
we lost three times, the guys from Halfway Hollow,
to young men with Whitman in white on their varsity jackets.

My mother tells a story about Thanksgiving,
back when kids went begging in rags and blackface:
how Carrie Wicks's sister said she got
an apple from Walt Whitman, right at his house,
an old man with a beard. The big kids laughed,
knowing the white-haired caretaker was no one.

I set no foot inside the Whitman House
or Leaves of Grass till after I went away,
but I'm better having grown up with the name,
the house and hills of a poet everyone knew,
a poet big enough in the mothers' stories
for a girl to believe he came to the door with a long
white beard and smiled and handed her an apple.

If a poet the size of Whitman named our few
square miles and a few in Jersey it's going to take
a lot more big ones to hand us all a welcome
sweet as a Thanksgiving apple from Walt Whitman,
white-haired care-taker, seed of mothers' stories,
Appleseed of our poetry: nourishment, shade.

Submitted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (An Apple from Walt Whitman by Eric Torgersen )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  5. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  8. If, Rudyard Kipling
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  10. No Man Is An Island, John Donne

Poem of the Day

poet Richard Lovelace

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. A Hidden Haiku Legend, Merton Lee
  2. Improve image, hasmukh amathalal
  3. We Can Make it Home, Leah Ayliffe
  4. You've got what I desperately need; so l.., Stanley Collymore
  5. For a lifetime, Cee Bea
  6. A rant, George Dee Vuy
  7. MAN'S GREATEST NEED, Michael P. Johnson
  8. The unknown face, vinit ghosh
  9. Kiss Me Bye, Md. Ziaul Haque
  10. Lust, Love, Hate, Pain, freya busby
[Hata Bildir]