Monday, March 14, 2016

tender voices

"Sing on there in the swamp,
O singer bashful and tender, I hear your notes, I hear your call,
I hear, I come presently, I understand you"*

Although Whitman was thinking about his beloved hermit thrush, I think the lines fit just as well with the chorus frogs that have been calling from the local wetlands the past few weeks.

Creeeeeeeeak! Creeeeeeeak! Creeeeeeeak!

These tiny, tiny frogs do exemplify Whitman's all out lust—to the point of being erotic—for nature and all of its yearnings. Its seasonal rhythms. Its cries and whispers.

There are several chorus frogs in the above photo. Do you see them? Perhaps not. They're much too bashful and tender to see. But you sure can hear them.

"Sing on dearest brother, warble your reedy song,
Loud human song, with voice of uttermost woe.
O liquid and free and tender!
O wild and loose to my soul -- O wondrous singer!"*

* Lines from "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" by Walt Whitman

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