Finding an Old Master: Leaves of Grass (The Deathbed Edition from 1900)

One of the coolest books I’ve ever held in my arms, Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass from 1900, publisher David McCay. Found when going through my grandparents’ and great aunt’s things. How many have felt that same spark when holding it. Sigh.

Finding an Old Master

The smell of dust, dirt,
years of basement trappings
wafts to my nose
and surprises my brain.
The book heavy in my arms,
the spine aches
when I turn the pages.
It is old but prescient.

With its age it realizes
many things–
among them
a collection of dewy sighs
and fingerprints, some ghostly,
settle into my own
and together us pioneers
continue the story.

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