The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Election Day


Election Day, November 1884
By Walt Whitman


If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
'Twould not be you, Niagara-nor you, ye limitless prairies-nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite-nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyserloops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon's white cones-nor Huron's belt of mighty lakes-nor Mississippi's stream:
-This seething hemisphere's humanity, as now, I'd name-the still small voice vibrating-America's choosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen-the act itself the main, the quadrennial choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous'd-sea-board and inland-Texas to Maine-the Prairie States-Vermont, Virginia, California,
The final ballot-shower from East to West-the paradox and conflict,
The countless snow-flakes falling-(a swordless conflict,
Yet more than all Rome's wars of old, or modern Napoleon's:) the peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity-welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
-Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify-while the heart pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell'd Washington's, Jefferson's, Lincoln's sails.

--------

Had a reasonably nice day with my mother, despite one final burst of post-Bar Mitzvah aggravation. We went to see the photographer who took photos at the ceremony and reception, whom my mother had tracked down and booked, paying for his time before I even knew his name -- very nice of her, right? Except it meant that I never got to ask questions like, "How much will prints/albums cost when all is said and done?" and nearly had a heart attack when I found out how much he charges -- I know that the price of albums is to some extent set by the companies that sell them to photographers but the prices of the photos seemed beyond exhorbitant to me, though my mother swears that absolutely every photographer in the greater Washington, DC area would charge exactly the same. It is much cheaper to get two identical albums than two separate albums, so I tried to convince my mother that what made sense was for us to pick photos in tandem and (since she wanted an actual full album rather than just the sort of foldout grandparents generally get) order the same ones, but after convincing us to invite all her friends to the Bar Mitzvah, she then refused to have MY friends in her album as she didn't want all of our table pictures, even though I was perfectly willing to have the fifty photos of my sister's children that she wanted in my own album. So we ended up paying far more than I think we should have...and this is the last Bar Mitzvah-related rant, I swear, because we are doing everything totally differently for younger son's event in three years.

Since we were out near Laurel at the studio, I did convince my mother to visit The Crystal Fox, a wonderful Pagan/Wiccan/spirituality store in the middle of town (Main Street in Laurel has a comic book store, a collectible card store, an Eastern medicine store and a place that sells swords all within a couple of blocks, which pleases me). I didn't buy anything since I had bought a Celtic scarf from Maggie Sansone at her concert in Chestertown, but my mother got me a silver chain for the charm I was wearing on a necklace that was really too thin to hold it, and then we went out to lunch at Red Hot & Blue where I had never been before -- the pulled chicken is good, the barbecue sauce is very good. Came home, wrote up some Trek news (I had done none all weekend; the server was down), reorganized my jewelry box in honor of the new chain, reorganized my music files in honor of my new hard drive. Does anyone know where the trash can is cached while it's full? I noticed that the backup program was copying files that were in my recycle bin, and I can't figure out where they got stored so I can throw them out, since apparently the backup program will replicate any new files but will not trash files that have been deleted on the original volume.

Watched Heroes on the teeny screen upstairs, while moving my summer clothing to the back and my winter clothing to the front of my closet, since we were recording Threshold's first three episodes downstairs...given the presence of my son, his singing penguin and two cats, I was somewhat distracted so don't have much to say about the episode beyond MICAH WHOO! Am waiting for Russell Crowe to show up on Late Night with Conan O'Brien right now (PSA: he's on Live with Regis & Kelly and Ellen on Tuesday, and on Thursday he's making maple-glazed turkey with Martha Stewart! If he gets angry will he throw it at her? Hahahaha!)


The Kalmar Nyckel is perhaps the most beautifully decorated tall ship I have had the pleasure to visit.


There are two sets of dogs -- the ones above, whose eyes facing inward are closed but whose eyes looking out to sea are open -- and these more fantastical-looking ones.


This is called "the monkey bird."


And this is called "the Indian head" but since the original Kalmar Nyckel brought Swedes to settle the New World, I can't imagine that that ship had this particular decoration.


I'm not sure whose head this is, but it's cool looking.


I'm not really certain about this Green Man-looking thing moving the bell with its tongue but it's cool too!


And here is one of the six-pounders...not original, since the original ship sank, but made in Indiana.
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Anyway, did not get to LJ at all for which I apologize. Tuesday the kids have no school, so after I choose the lesser of two weevils in the gubernatorial race and vote with a fair degree of contentment in the Senate race -- I keep reminding myself that I could live in Virginia and have to go vote for a dingbat to avoid having a right-wing bigot win -- I am going to celebrate my phone's freedom from election-related calls and my e-mail's freedom from People For the American Way and Move On warning me that if I do not send more money immediately I will be PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE when I lose my right to choose. No wait, I am actually going to go climb Sugarloaf with my kids! If the weather holds!
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