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The Prairie-Grass Dividing
by Walt Whitman
from “Calamus” in Leaves of Grass, 1867

The prairie-grass dividing, its special odor breathing,
I demand of it the spiritual corresponding,
Demand the most copious and close companionship of men,
Demand the blades to rise of words, acts, beings,
Those of the open atmosphere, coarse, sunlit, fresh, nutritious,
Those that go their own gait, erect, stepping with freedom and command,
     leading not following,
Those with a never-quell’d audacity, those with sweet and lusty flesh clear
     of taint,
Those that look carelessly in the faces of Presidents and governors, as to
     say Who are you?
Those of earth-born passion, simple, never constrain’d, never obedient,
Those of inland America.


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