LibriVox volunteers bring you 23 recordings of An Old Man’s Thought of School by Walt Whitman (1819-1892).
This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for February 12th to February 26th, 2012.
Whitman claimed that after years of competing for “the usual rewards”, he determined to become a poet. He first experimented with a variety of popular literary genres which appealed to the cultural tastes of the period. As early as 1850, he began writing what would become Leaves of Grass, a collection of poetry which he would continue editing and revising until his death.
(Summary from Wikipedia)
http://www.archive.org/download/oldmanthoughts_school_1202_librivox/thoughtofschool_whitman_rn_64kb.mp3″Running time=1m 53s (mp3@64kb)
Download locations: mp3 128kb : mp3 64kb : ogg vorbis.
Catalogue pages: LibriVox, Internet Archive.
Zip of the entire book (18.6MB@64kb), featuring all 23 readers of this poem, with a total running time of 38m 37s
In addition to the readers, this audio book was produced by:
Book Coordinator: David Lawrence
Meta-Coordinator/Cataloging: David Lawrence
An Old Man’s Thought of School
AN old man’s thought of School;
An old man, gathering youthful memories and blooms, that youth itself cannot.
Now only do I know you!
O fair auroral skies! O morning dew upon the grass!
And these I see—these sparkling eyes,
These stores of mystic meaning—these young lives,
Building, equipping, like a fleet of ships—immortal ships!
Soon to sail out over the measureless seas,
On the Soul’s voyage.
Only a lot of boys and girls?
Only the tiresome spelling, writing, ciphering classes?
Only a Public School?
Ah more—infinitely more;
(As George Fox rais’d his warning cry, “Is it this pile of brick and mortar—these dead floors, windows, rails—you call the church?
Why this is not the church at all—the Church is living, ever living Souls.”)
And you, America,
Cast you the real reckoning for your present?
The lights and shadows of your future—good or evil?
To girlhood, boyhood look—the Teacher and the School.
This fortnight’s poem can be found here.