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Sunday, 2 May 2010

Whitman: Animals


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White Bengal Tigers (Panthera tigris), Singapore Zoological Gardens: photo by Nachoman-au, 2005



I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long.




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Hoffman's two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni), Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
: photo by Leyo, 2005



They do not sweat and whine about their condition,




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Caracal or desert lynx (Caracal caracal): photo by Van 3000, 2006



They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,




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Mandril (Mandrillus sphinx), Pittsburgh Zoo
: photo by matt sabbath, 2008



They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,




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Red-shanked douc (Pygathrix nemaeus), Singapore Zoo
: photo by Bjørn Christian Tørresen, 2008


Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,



File:Red-shanked Douc at the Philadelphia  Zoo.jpg

Red-shanked douc (Pygathrix nemaeus), Philadelphia Zoo: photo by Art G., 2007




Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,



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Ring-tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta), travelling in a small group, Berenty Private Reserve, Madagascar: photo by Alex Dunkel, 2003



Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.




File:Orangutan-bornean.jpg

Borneo Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), female: photo by Julielangford, 2009



Walt Whitman: from A Song of Myself, in Leaves of Grass, 1855

5 comments:

TC said...

(One might turn and click and look on those White Tigers, long and long.)

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Thanks (again), Johnny (age 5) and I just now looked at these w/ great pleasure (we always look at your photos). . . .

Lucy in the Sky said...

Thank you, Tom, for sharing this very wise view. Whitman could not be more right. Have you ever had a look at this?

Curtis Roberts said...

This is perfect. I hope creating this gave you as much pleasure as reading and viewing it gave us. One of our feral cats, Princess Daisy, who has been with us for years as a “downstairs/basement cat” (she hangs out there with a few others, who are shy and possibly still a little fearful) is now an upstairs cat, mostly observing the world and tracking the perimeters from a high window perch. Other times, she simply does what she's decided she prefers and keeps to her individual schedule. It’s a joy to behold and our house is always filled with silent motion.

TC said...

Good morning Stephen, Johnny, Lucy, Princess Daisy and Curtis.

Ah Lucy, it's so sad about those strange monkeys who feel so alone, and then cause so much trouble, and then... make more monkeys.

So here we are, maybe being watched by older eyes.

And maybe not.