Away from tailordom and fashion’s clothes

Away from tailordom and fashion’s clothes

Away then to loosen
           to unstring the divine bow
so tense so long
           Away from curtain
carpet        sofa        book
           from society
from city house
and modern improvements and luxuries
           away to the primitive winding
wooded creek with its
           untrimmed bushes and turfy banks
away from ligatures
           tight boots
           and the whole cast-iron
civilized life
           from entourage of artificial store
machine      studio      office       parlor
           from tailordom and fashion’s clothes
from any clothes perhaps
           the summer heats advancing
there in those watery
           shaded solitudes

Away soul
           let me talk in perfect freedom
negligently        confidentially
           for one day and night at least
returning to the naked source
           —life of us all—
to the breast of the great silent
           savage all-accepting Mother

           how many of us are so sodden
have wandered so far away
           that return is almost impossible

Walt Whitman, from Specimen Days (1882)

Edited by John Lyons

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