Wednesday, April 4, 2012
A First Literary Love
So who was your first literary love?
Harold. Harold and his purple crayon, those books by Crockett Johnson.
As a girl, I wanted a magic crayon to first draw the world
and then, to enter it.
An early favorite poem, because it reminded me of Harold and the Purple Crayon, Walt Whitman's "There Was a Child Went Forth."
Every time I read this poem, I think of Harold. I still love Harold.
There Was a Child Went Forth
THERE was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years.
The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the Third-month lambs, and the sow’s pink-faint litter, and the mare’s foal, and the cow’s calf,
And the noisy brood of the barn-yard, or by the mire of the pond-side,
And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there—and the beautiful curious liquid,
And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads—all became part of him . . .