Resources & Recommendations | James Earl Jones Reads Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”

Hi, all. How are we doing? This is a scary time– a scary and potentially lonesome time. One that is paradoxically heavy with emptiness. I have found myself on furlough for the past month, watching the light of my window pass from east to west and back again. I have found myself in a struggle: to eat, to shower, even to sleep is nothing short of a marathon. I become lost in the counting of seconds and minutes and days and weeks and months we have spent in waiting, and it is this seemingly unending pause which leads us into darkness.

On Tuesday, it was a single slice of avocado toast which brightened my spirits and lightened this burden.

Today, it was the words of my favorite poet.

And I want to share those words with you—ones I have read tens and sometimes hundreds of times throughout those dark moments. They come from Walt Whitman, a transcendentalist poet of the 1850’s and they come in the form of the warm and rich voice of James Earl Jones.

You can read the entirety of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and “Song of Myself” online for free at Project Gutenberg.

 

O Me! O Life!

O me! O life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I,
and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the
struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see
around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

Answer.

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

Your verse is so needed– It is precious. In these times, please do not forget that.

I’m here for you.

I love you.

Take care, Annie-meniac,

Annie

 

 

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