A reader responds:
Oh dear, maybe I don't want to see the wedding photos after all….
But speaking of Whitman and weddings, I wandered across this the other day. It's from Song of the Open Road.
Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe--I have tried it--my own feet have tried it well--be not detain'd!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen'd!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn'd!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the
court, and the judge expound the law.
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
Old Walt really speaks to me and to my own love (16 years together this week) and how it stands up all by itself, "before preaching or law". Same-sex marriage is a good thing (and many thanks for fighting for it for so long). But I fear that when full federal marriage is finally available to all we'll lose the small but glorious conceit that our love is truer than others because it exists and thrives in spite of the doings of preachers and law makers.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.