:::this is the way the world ends:::

Election Day

A piece of Walt Whitman on this historic day:


From 1884


If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,


‘Twould not be you, Niagara – nor you, ye limitless prairies – nor your huge

rifts of canyons, Colorado,


Nor you, Yosemite – nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyserloops

ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,


Nor Oregon’s white cones – nor Huron’s belt of mighty lakes – nor

Mississippi’s stream:


This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now, I’d name – the still small

voice vibrating – America’s choosing day…


  1. Ned

    I woke Eliot up today so that at some point in his life, he can look back and say, “I rememeber when my dad woke me up and said we have our first African-American president, Barak Obama.”

    Interesting that you quote Whitman.

    In 2009, the country will mark the 150th birthday of another Illinois politician’s Inaugural address. A man that came to office when our country was falling apart over the issue of industrialization and slavery.

    That’s history meaning something.

  2. Shotts

    It is such an act of hope. Beckett may have been born in the Bush presidency, but he will be raised in the Obama presidency. I believe that will set a tone, a positive one, for his life. It was really moving to vote as a parent as much or more as anything else. Today I think it can feel good again to say you’re an American.

  3. J.E.

    Today I went to the LBJ library across the street from where I work and viewed the pens he used to sign his “Great Society” programs into law. Among these was of course the Voting Rights act of 1965.

    Like you Shotts, my long lost patriotism has come surging back in a way that I haven’t felt since I was a child. Not because there will be a Democrat in office but because this Democrat, Barack Hussein Obama II, will be in office.

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