Whitman sang a song of himself, self-publishing grassy leaves and setting the world aflame.
Emerson was an elite word-player, looking for meaning without getting muddy.
Hawthorne wrote political lies for Jimmy Polk’s imperial invasion of Mexico.
Thoreau, at least, was jailed for not paying taxes. (His mother paid them the very next day!)
Me? I’m a happy reprobate—bowing humbly to the old Latinate: ‘one who reproves’—
carping with hot consternation at those who, with blind and blinkered eyes, trail after evil’s
easy, please-y morsels, spending more at Starbucks daily than many elsewhere have for food.
I’ve no pretensions—I’m not a Whitman, an Emerson, or a Thoreau;
I’m certainly not an old Nate Hawthorne. I’m a tired grunt Marine from
the American war in Vietnam, lugging my frayed bulging rucksack over hither and yon,
planting anti-war apple seeds deep in the dirt called America.