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 Post subject: Walt Whitman's "To A Locomotive In Winter"
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3033
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
My brother sent me this, bringing back memories of when I had first read it at least 40 years ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRG-j5T24-o

Interesting to think that some critics think trains are an intrusion upon the landscape. . .yet Whitman apparently didn't think so.


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 Post subject: Re: Walt Whitman's "To A Locomotive In Winter"
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3731
Location: Maine
The wisdom of Whitman, to understand how fire and water could, together, become something vastly more sensual and powerful. You won't find poets writing about Diesel locomotives. Diesels lack "life" force.

Thanks for posting.

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 Post subject: Re: Walt Whitman's "To A Locomotive In Winter"
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3033
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Richard Glueck wrote:
The wisdom of Whitman, to understand how fire and water could, together, become something vastly more sensual and powerful. You won't find poets writing about Diesel locomotives. Diesels lack "life" force.


And thank you for appreciating what we steam fans have known all along (and in Whitman's case, going back to the 19th century).

It's interesting to contemplate that Whitman would likely have been looking at polished 4-4-0s like the Northern Central's No. 17. I wonder if he would have felt and thought the same way years later, looking at an example of Super Power.

And yet, do not the big engines still pant and breath like living animals, like "big iron horses?" Do not their whistles still seem as voices, voices that can almost sing?

The late Alvin F. Staufer once commented that something in the heart of America died with steam railroading. I have to agree.


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