Anyway, shock aside, I'm real freaking delighted to be working on this post less than 12 hours after launching this project. What the junk, guys! Eeee!
Ahem. Calming down.
This morning, when I was hovering over the LAUNCH button and screaming at a few, key supportive friends about whether or not I could do it, I thought back to college. I took this American Literature course that was supposed to fill a credit requirement for my honors program... and the second I opened a copy of Leaves of Grass and Other Writings, this enormous collected tome of the works of Whitman, I fell in love.
It's got two editions of Leaves of Grass, so you can really SEE how the work evolved. It's fascinating to see Whitman's genius in action, and I've called on that notion, that what you write and what you love, is always a work in progress in everything I've composed since then. I do a lot of iterating (she wrote, while revising this post for the third time in less than 20 minutes).
But, iterations wasn't what I wanted to talk about, either. What I wanted to talk about was the back matter of this incredible collection. It features uncollected fragments, unpublished poems, and Whitmanian ramblings -- journals, scraps of paper, anything that Walt put words on. There's this undatable musing entitle, "My Own Poems," that made me laugh out loud the first time I read it... and it just kept running through my brain while I freaked out about whether or not anyone would care enough about this project to give me a dollar.
The poem fragment reads:
Aye, merchant, thou hast drawn a haughty draft
Upon the centuries yet to come
Yet hitherto unborn -- the Americas of the future:
The trick is... Will they pay?
It would appear, in my situation, that you would, indeed, pay. And I am so deeply thankful that you're here to support me. Stand by. I'll announce GOAL 2 soon.