So, for the present, I am content to read his poems from my trusty poemhunter ebook, like I usually do, sporadically and hopefully, with the kind of joyful focus it calls for.
Having read many of his lines like the lovely Song of Myself where he says "For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you", I now think that he was an incredibly learned man, as much aware of the world of science that governed the exterior as he was understanding of the innermost questions, thoughts and workings of his own personal world, literally, "insightful" and "introspective".
This poem by Whitman holds sway over my imagination since first I heard it in the film, I suddenly thought of it again today. Isn't it wonderful?
O Me! O Life!
O Me! O life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill'd with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew'd,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring - What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here - that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
The lines of the answer fill me with this strange soaring feeling, it is like a knowledge that others have pondered what I have pondered and that Whitman gives a most reassuring answer, dont you think? :)