Humanity faces a global pandemic. The human family faces an increasingly difficult world. A world of declining resources. Climate that is less friendly. A polluted environment. Extraterrestrial intervention. What am I going to do about it? Share a poem, of course!
She’s free She’s on her destination
The Walt Whitman poem “Old Salt Kossabone” first appeared in the February 25, 1888 issue of the New York Herald. It would later appear in the first “Annex” section of the final edition of Leaves of Grass. To me, it is as if he had already written his epitaph and obituary in the poem “So Long!” then discovered he had a few more poems to write. This poem is one of them.
OLD SALT KOSSABONE.
Far back, related on my mother’s side,
Old Salt Kossabone, I’ll tell you how he died:
(Had been a sailor all his life—was nearly 90—lived with his
married grandchild, Jenny;
House on a hill, with view of bay at hand, and distant cape, and
stretch to open sea;)
The last of afternoons, the evening hours, for many a year his
In his great arm chair by the window seated,
(Sometimes, indeed, through half the day,)
Watching the coming, going of the vessels, he mutters to himself
—And now the close of all:
One struggling outbound brig, one day, baffled for long—cross-
tides and much wrong going,
At last at nightfall strikes the breeze aright, her whole luck veer-
And swiftly bending round the cape, the darkness proudly enter-
ing, cleaving, as he watches,
“She’s free—she’s on her destination”—these the last words—
when Jenny came, he sat there dead,
Dutch Kossabone, Old Salt, related on my mother’s side, far
I don’t think people in our time are aware of the complexities of sailing ships. Whitman made references in other poems to ships at sea being baffled or “puzzled.” Let’s just say it’s trickier than it looks. I take joy in this poem for a couple of reasons. I hope for those who care about me to see me “strike the breeze aright.” I hope to see a struggling humanity rising and uniting, becoming a strong race, determined to successfully navigate the difficult times ahead. I wouldn’t mind if my last words about humanity were “She’s free she’s on her destination.”
Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.