622: Walt Whitman: The Sea is a Continual Miracle

From his earliest days on Long Island and in New York City to his last years in Camden, New Jersey, Walt Whitman lived close to the sea he knew and loved. The “liquid-flowing syllables” of Whitman’s poetry and prose tell specific stories of particular voyages and known shores, as well as vivid flights of imagination and keening paeans to wild winds, dark water, stormy and quiet airs. The land, for Whitman, is both immutable and still, while the sea is a realm of dynamic change, mercurial temper, and the ebb and flow of cosmic uncertainty. In “The Sea Is a Continual Miracle”, poet and editor Jeffrey Yang has compiled an invaluable resource for readers, students, and scholars of Whitman, and demonstrates how seeing him through sea glass shows America’s best-loved poet in a new light.

“To me the sea is a continual miracle, / The fishes that swim – the rocks – the motion / of the waves – the ships, with men in them / – what stranger miracles are there?”

“The Sea is a Continual Miracle: Sea Poems and Other Writings by Walt Whitman” edited by Jeffrey Yang. Published by University Press of New England in 2017 as part of the “Seafaring America” series. Bought by the Sea Library 💙

Photos by Anna Iltnere / Sea Library

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