Walt Whitman’s “America”

Poems yearn to be spoken. And, how much better to be spoken by the poet, wherein we hear the creator’s intent, augmenting our understanding of words we’ve long known. The invention of recording occurred during the mid-1800s, and forever changed poetry and music, making them more widely accessible. Charge swiftly into the future,and witness the power of the internet to bring us the voice of Walt Whitman reciting from his poem, “America.” There are only 35 seconds of it, and the sound quality is about what you would expect from an 1888 recording, but it is Walt Whitman!

These are the words you will hear:

America

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love . . .

Open Culture brings us the recording:

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