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A Mary T. Hoffman Commentary from


"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


The World Below the Brine – 12 June 2008
By Mary T. Hoffman

The past few days have been very hot and humid. Very early this morning it was just a bit cooler and less humid, so I got out there and did some yard work – weed whacking and pruning – before the heat could build up again.

With all this hot weather, I felt like posting a poem about winter and snow today J, but then settled for this poem by Walt Whitman, The World Below the Brine:

The World Below the Brine
Walt Whitman
(1819 – 1892)
From Leaves of Grass

The world below the brine;
Forests at the bottom of the sea – the branches and leaves,
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the thick
tangle, the openings, and the pink turf.
Different colors – pale gray and green, purple, white, and
gold, the play of light through the water;
Dumb swimmers there among the rocks – coral, gluten, grass,
rushes – and the aliment of the swimmers,
Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or slowly
crawling close to the bottom,
The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and spray, or
disporting with his flukes,
The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the hairy
sea-leopard, and the sting-ray;
Passions there – wars, pursuits, tribes – sight in those
ocean-depths – breathing that thick-breathing air, as so many do;
The change thence to the sight here, and to the subtle air
breathed by beings like us, who walk this sphere;
The change onward from ours to that of beings who walk
other spheres.

For a short bio of Walt Whitman, as well as his poem Song of Myself, visit: 

For a collection of poems and stories, visit:

Go on to: Superstition – 13 June 2008
Return to: Pasta Primavera – 11 June 2008
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