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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Leaves of Suggestiveness

"The word I myself put primarily for the description of [my 'Leaves of Grass'] as they stand at last, is the word Suggestiveness.  I round and finish little, if anything; and could not, consistently with my scheme.  The reader will always have his or her part to do, just as much as I have had mine.  I seek less to state or display any theme or thought, and more to bring you, reader, into the atmosphere of the theme or thought – there to pursue your own flight." 

– Walt Whitman, from "A Backward Glance O'er Travel'd Roads" (1892), in Leaves of Grass, (Library of America, 1992) p666-7.