(Marko Skrbic photography)

Some time ago I made a promise to myself… Actually a few of them, some kind of a New Year’s resolution. “I will try to write a letter to one of my favorite illustrators (Brian Froud), I will finally stop biting my nails and I will definitely become a blogger.” I’m starting that letter for the hundredth time now, my nails are getting shorter and shorter, but at least I have this blog!

“Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet…. the effect upon me of my early life…. or the ward and
city I live in…. or the nation,
The latest news…. discoveries, inventions, societies…. authors old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks – or of myself…. or ill-doing…. or loss
or lack of money…. or depressions or exaltations,
They come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.”

Song of Myself. (1855)

Try reading it without the ellipses… It’s just not the same. Not only the words, but the design of the sentences as well talks about the connection between the physical and the spiritual. Whitman was trying to put his soul on paper, to connect the two, to make you read his thoughts. In the 1891 “Death-bed” Edition of Leaves of Grass he omits the ellipses and only then do we see how this passage becomes harder to relate to. The personal and individual touch is lost, the pauses he deliberately prolonged are gone and the magic is just not there any more.