About Me

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Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now writing a dissertation on the sonnets of E. A. Robinson at LMU, where he tutors composition alongside editing flyers on poetry and style. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor at Review of International American Studies. He also teaches at Münchner Volkshochschule and leads the Amerikahaus Literaturkreis.

20160531

Small the Theme of My Chant

From the 1867 edition L. of G.

Small the theme of my Chant, yet the greatest—namely, One's-
Self—a simple, separate person. That, for the use of the
New World, I sing.
Man's physiology complete, from top to toe, I sing. Not physi-
ognomy alone, nor brain alone, is worthy for the Muse;—I
say the Form complete is worthier far. The Female equally
with the Male, I sing.
Nor cease at the theme of One's-Self. I speak the word of the
modern, the word En-Masse.
My Days I sing, and the Lands—with interstice I knew of hap-
less War.
(O friend, whoe'er you are, at last arriving hither to commence,
I feel through every leaf the pressure of your hand, which I
return.
And thus upon our journey, footing the road, and more than
once, and link'd together let us go.)

Walt Whitman


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