generations to come.nWalt Whitman is a trinity of the man who was bom onnLong Island in 1819 and died in 1892 in New Jersey, of hisnimage bom in all places and immortal, and of the reader whonasks him: What do you see Walt Whitman? and who is thusnalso a part of the poem.nWalt Whitman’s voice has mng throughout the planet.nEvery other poet has echoed it, with temporal or local variations.nThe work has been taken as a model; nobody hasnattempted his method. For all we know, he was the one mannwho could do it. Only he could have written:nOrnThese are the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands—theynare not original with me.n/ am the man, I suffered, I was there.nDarling ArOessnessnItalo Calvino: lUarcovaldonor the SetiSfuis in Ibe City;nHarcourt Biace Jovanovidi;nSsai Diego.nJiidgjnj> by this slim volunu-,nItalo (^iilvino, tlic world tiunoiis.npremier Italian wTiitr {“one ofnItaly’.s sriraicst” saj-s tlu- PR bio),niii warm, siniplc, likable, .swca,nboth in .sub.stancc and style.nMarannldo cuaslsts of kniselynconceived and bound uiles thatncompose themselves inio a .silhouettenof a Franciscan proleta­nrian who is sweet, simple, warm,nlikable, and lull of love lor nuliire.nlie inhabiLs his not-tooclemeni,nmoileni. It:ilian, urlvannlandscape, and he is stublx)rnlynemanating sweetne.s.s, simplicity,nwarmth, and some capacitynft)r sensin}> what’s belter in thenuniverse. ‘1 hat’s all. Not lon^ago.nwe could read in the iSew YorknTimes that Mr. Calvino “beknigsnto the intelleciu:il sch(X)1 of. . .nKafka. Nabokov aiul Horj^-s.” ‘IliLsnlinear equation seems to us tonIH: as deli and accurate as onendravm between an abacus andnan IBM computer. T!n• LEAVES OF GRASS*nOn Iheetvnt oflhcmirmlini-nof The In^ersoU Prizes,nllh- following inesscific icusnn-ivivfd from Dr. William J.nli<.iinclt. chairman of then’^(ilittnallJidoumiMitforthi’nHumanities:nI he Ingcrsoll ioundalioiin!”«lo be congratulated on thenisiablishnu’iil of The higcrsnneeded and profoundlynwi’lconied.nnnOrnOrn(“lovcrnment support ofnculture is a risk business; innour tenuiv we Itive noted thatnover and oer again. It is uponnthe actiity of private citizensnand private institulion.s thaintruly live inquiry. schol:irship.nand culture depends.nThe intelligent event youncelebrate toniglu is symbolicnof the heart of support for culturenin a nation of free people.nMy very best wishes to y(iu.nand my gratitude to you fornthis welcome reminder to ansometimes myopic Washingionnthat diere is a world elsewhere.andthatilisgooil.nI !nThis is the meal equally set- -this is the meat for naturalnhunger.nAfter the child is bom of woman, man is bom of woman;nthis is the bath of birth and the outlet again.n^rt happens, said Whistier; die Rose ist ohne Warum,nthe rose has no why, wrote Angelus Silesius. To explainnbeauty is to explain it away. 1 have merely tried to explainnthe theory behind Whitman’s splendid achievement.nA man who goes from Leaves of Grass to a biography ofnthe writer inevitably feels that he is being let down. Thenreason is obvious. The hero of the first is the divine vagabondnWalt Whitman; the hero of the second is the poor man ofngenius who wrought the myth. In 1882, Robert Louis Stevensonnpermed rather gmdgingly these words: “The whole ofnWhitman’s work is deliberate and preconceived.”nWhen a literary experiment is a feilure, as in the case ofnFinnegans Wake, we worship it and we take good care notnto read it; when it succeeds, as in the cases of the LewisnCarroll books and Leaves of Grass, we think of it as easy andninevitable.n—Jorge Luis BorgesnJorge Luis Borges is an Argentinian writer, and the firstnlaureate of the T. S. Eliot Award for Creative Writingnof The Lngersoll Prizes.nMarch 1984n