Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bold, Cautious, True

At the Katonah Museum in New York State, an interesting exhibition of work from the Civil War era takes its title from a Walt Whitman poem.
Bold, Cautious, True: Walt Whitman and American Art of the Civil War Era will be on exhibition in the Beitzel and Righter Galleries until January 24, 2010.

The show presents paintings by Eastman Johnson, Winslow Homer and others. Patrons may preview images from the exhibition online.

The image attached to this post is by Eastman Johnson. He lived from 1851-1899 and you can read his digitized personal correspondence on the website of the Smithsonian.


As Toilsome I Wander'd Virginia's Woods by Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

As toilsome I wander'd Virginia's woods,
To the music of rustling leaves kick'd by my feet, (for 'twas autumn,)
I mark'd at the foot of a tree the grave of a soldier;
Mortally wounded he and buried on the retreat, (easily all could
The halt of a mid-day hour, when up! no time to lose--yet this sign left,
On a tablet scrawl'd and nail'd on the tree by the grave,
Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade.
Long, long I muse, then on my way go wandering,
Many a changeful season to follow, and many a scene of life,
Yet at times through changeful season and scene, abrupt, alone, or in the crowded street,
Comes before me the unknown soldier's grave, comes the inscription
rude in Virginia's woods,
Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade.

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