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.

What do you think this poem is about?



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..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. The wisdom of Parables, Melikhaya Zagagana
  2. A Friend Of Mine, Cynthia Pardede
  3. Democracies All Must Fail, Is It Poetry
  4. Conviction's Diatribe, michael walkerjohn
  5. Think right, hasmukh amathalal
  6. BYE! BYE! ! BYE! ! ! EBOLA! ! !, G. AKANJI OLANIYI
  7. The Occident's Secession, michael walkerjohn
  8. One's Mind, michael walkerjohn
  9. Mind's Refuse, michael walkerjohn
  10. 6 is truly 9, michael walkerjohn

Poem of the Day

poet Sir John Suckling

Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Elizabeth Bishop

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. If, Rudyard Kipling
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  8. Television, Roald Dahl
  9. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  10. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]