*Every once and a while I go back to Leaves of Grass, re-reading it for the umpteenth time, because it is beautiful, and powerful, and profound. It is a song, and a poem, an anthema celebration of life. Here is the first stanza…and if you’ve never read it, or any Whitman, I urge you to do so. 

I celebrate myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,

I lean and loafe at my ease . . . . observing a spear of summer grass.

Houses and rooms are full of perfumes . . . . the shelves are crowded with perfumes,

I breathe the fragrance myself, and know it and like it,

The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.

The atmosphere is not a perfume . . . . it has no taste of the distillation . . . . it is 

It is for my mouth forever . . . . I am in love with it,

I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked,

I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

The smoke of my own breath,

Echos, ripples, and buzzed whispers . . . . loveroot, silkthread, crotch and vine,

My respiration and inspiration . . . . the beating of my heart . . . . the passing of blood 
and air through my lungs,

The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and darkcolored sea-
rocks, and of hay in the barn,

The sound of the belched words of my voice . . . . words loosed to the eddies of 
the wind,

A few light kisses . . . . a few embraces . . . . a reaching around of arms,

The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,

The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hillsides,

The feeling of health . . . . the full-noon trill . . . . the song of me rising from bed 
and meeting the sun.