A quote from Walt Whitman, about compost


Behold this compost! behold it well! . . .
Now I am terrified at the Earth, it is that calm and patient,
It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,
It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseas’d corpses,
It distills such exquisite windows of such infused fetor,

It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops,
It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last
.” —Walt Whitman, “This Compost”, Leaves of Grass

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Author: Kary Schumpert @runningintolife

I am a composter, an environmental educator, a runner, a writer.

4 thoughts on “A quote from Walt Whitman, about compost”

  1. That’s a great bit of poetry. The soil is such a rich, amazing, and complex thing. I like the way Whitman portrays it as a living and active thing, which it actually is, and one on whom our life depends so much.
    Well, this is very appropriate reading for me this morning. Guess what my plans are today? I’m going to construct a 4 by 10 foot compost bin in the lower corner of my yard. 🙂 Actually, I’ve had the compost pile there for years, but now it’s going to be a nice, neat organized one with three bays. So now I won’t have new stuff being thrown on top of old stuff that’s rotted down but that I can’t get to.

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