Leaves of Grass-Illuminated: Patrick Scully brings Walt Whitman to Bemidji

Oct 4, 2018

To many, Walt Whitman is the quintessential American poet.  His messages of  democracy, individuality, inclusiveness and acceptance are arguably as relevant today as they were in the 1800s.  Minneapolis-based playwright, actor, dancer and Whitman aficionado Patrick Scully has created a theatrical production that brings the life and words of Whitman to the stage.  He's bringing his one man show to the Eagles Club in Bemidji October 4 in association with the Beltrami County Historical Society's fall fundraiser.  He spoke with us on the morning show about Whitman, the production and why he thinks Whitman fits the bill as one of America's greatest poets. 

The Beltrami County Historical Fundraiser starts at 6:30pm, October 4th at the Eagles Club in Bemidji.  The play begins at 7:00pm. 

MiraclesWalt Whitman, 1819 - 1892

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the
        water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night
        with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer
        forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so
        quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the
        same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.

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?

When I Heard the Learned AstronomerWalt Whitman, 1819 - 1892

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,
and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with
much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.