What amazing news! I knew that Walt Whitman’s print shop, where he had first printed Leaves of Grass, had been knocked down to make room for a co-op in Brooklyn Heights.
What I didn’t know, was that the bricks were used around a planter at the site — right next to the High Street subway station at Cranberry Street. I walk by it all the time.
That makes me so happy, I cannot tell you. And if I have faith in anything supernatural, it is that Whitman knows it, and is smiling.
Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious you are to me!
On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose,
And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more; to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.
It avails not, time nor place--distance avails not,
I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations hence,
Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt,
Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd,
Just as you are refresh'd by the gladness of the river and the
bright flow, I was refresh'd,
Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift
current, I stood yet was hurried,
Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships and the
thick-stemm'd pipes of steamboats, I look'd.
These, and all else, were to me the same as they are to you,
I loved well those cities, loved well the stately and rapid river,
The men and women I saw were all near to me,
Others the same--others who look back on me because I look'd forward to them,
What is it then between us?
What is the count of the scores or hundreds of years between us?
Closer yet I approach you,
What thought you have of me now, I had as much of you--I laid in my stores in advance,
I consider'd long and seriously of you before you were born.
Who was to know what should come home to me?
Who knows but I am enjoying this?
Who knows, for all the distance, but I am as good as looking at you now, for all you cannot see me?