There is a deeper bond in life

I was thinking some more today — musing, as I might say, on “profound” philosophical questions in my favorite pub — about what, in our talks, my departed and sorely missed friend Bill Dalzell — someone whose intuitive ratiocination influenced me greatly (both his way of thinking and the actual thoughts) — communicated implicitly to me about the importance of intuition in cogitation, in decision making, in one’s life course

To put it another way, I was thinking about human relationships

When they work, become meaningful — meaningful and profound — when they endure, it is not because you and the other have worked out and reached an understanding or accommodations on most issues or one another’s views

It is because something deeper and stronger binds you

Call it love or fellow feeling

I have seen it so many times in married couples -– in the bond between my parents, for example

When, to put it simplistically, love and “custom” (lives lived together) mean the most, trump disagreements

I venerate reasoning and acumen in people

I also cherish persons with whom I have achieved something deeper when it comes to relationships. Them and the relationships

There is a deeper bond in life than that of affinity based on commonalities that are supposed to make people compatible. That deep something which binds people who become bonded in all sorts of circumstances and scenarios


— Roger W. Smith

  January 2023

Walt Whitman, “Brooklyn Parks”


Walt Whitman, ‘Brooklyn Parks’

Posted here (Word document above):

Walt Whitman. “BROOKLYN PARKS”

Brooklyn Daily Times, April 17, 1858

What intrigues me is Whitman’s mention of “a Park on the heights, over Montague ferry!,” whereby he refers to the neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights, from which there is a splendid view of Manhattan.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   January 2023


Brooklyn Heights; photo by Roger W. Smith

Brooklyn Heights; photo by Roger W. Smith


Walt Whitman, “I Sit and Look Out”


Walt Whitman, ‘I Sit and Look Out’


This poem almost needs no commentary. But I would say that its simplicity and lack of affectation – and its directness – are notable..

And that Whitman speaks to me. Personally. To my personal thoughts and observations.

I find myself observing unhappiness and worse in the course of the days and passing time. . Human suffering and degradation that one hears or reads about; and situations that produce such feelings in persons of my acquaintance. And besides suffering, regrets and remorse.

— Roger W. Smith

   January 2022

Walt Whitman, “Philosophy of Ferries”


Walt Whitman, ‘Philosophy of Ferries’

Posted here (Word document above):

Walt Whitman “Philosophy of Ferries,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 11, 1947

IN The Uncollected Poetry and Prose of Walt Whitman; Much of Which Has Been But Recently Discovered, with Various Early Manuscripts; Now First Published; Collected and Edited by Emory Holloway, Volume One, pp. 168-171 (Gloucester, Mass. Peter Smith, 1972)



Things haven’t changed much since Whitman’s day.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   January 2023


photo by Roger W. Smith



See also my post

the ferry

the ferry

Walt Whitman, “Broadway”


Walt Whitman, ‘Broadway’ (2)

Posted here (Word document above):

Wat Whitman, “BROADWAY”

Life Illustrated, August 9, 1856

an unsigned article attributed to Whitman, reprinted in

New York Dissected By Walt Whitman: A Sheaf of Recently Discovered Newspaper Articles by the Author of LEAVES OF GRASS; Introduction and Notes by Emory Holloway and Ralph Adimari (New York: Rufus Rockwell Wilson, Inc. 1936), pp. 119-124



Whitman’s experiences and impressions in his pre-Civil War years are similar to my own in Manhattan jaunts. (I also love to take the ferry.) As noted by Emory Holloway and Ralph Adimari:

When Moncure D. Conway, at Emerson’s suggestion, called upon Whitman a month or so after the appearance of Leaves of Grass, in 1855, he took a walk with him through the city. “Nothing could surpass,” he says, “the blending of insouciance with active observation in his manner as we strolled along the streets”. … Whitman had been walking the streets, riding the omnibuses and crossing the ferries for many years. His memory was stored with so many such impressions that one of his early manuscripts describes his mind as a picture gallery. Perhaps it was from a desire to reconcile the contradictions in these multiform and inharmonious impressions that the poet sought escape in mystical rhapsody. The peculiar quality of Whitman’s elevated poetic mood, however, is due to the fact that instead of withdrawing his mind ascetically from experience, he sought rather to use definite concrete experiences to climb to a summit of vision which would embrace them all.

— posted by Roger W. Smith

January 2022






A friend of mine from Europe said in a message that he hoped to visit New York sometime and would love to see “Broadway Avenue.” I wrote him back with some facts.

I am attaching an explanatory Word document (above) and photos I have taken in my walks.

My photos show Broadway near Wall Street and Broadway way uptown; it goes from the southernmost to the northernmost point (218th Street) of Manhattan.

— Roger W. Smith

  January 2023


photos by Roger W. Smith

Broadway and Rector Street, Financial District

Times Square

Broadway and 156th Street, Upper Manhattan

Washington Heights


Broadway and 218th Street

… that individuals matter


Why did individual soldiers matter so much to Walt Whitman? The young men whom he provided care and comfort to as a volunteer in army hospitals during the Civil War.

As persons — not just “cases”; patients needing care and. above all, attention.

They certainly did. Witness the accounts — Whitman’s own — of his regular visits to hospitals in Washington during the Civil War.

For example:

Walt Whitman

to Mr. and Mrs. S. B. Haskell, Breseport, County New York, August 10, 1863

Whitman 1


And here is an excerpt from another letter showing how much people he encountered and got to know mattered to Whitman:

Walt Whitman to Hugo Fritsch, 1863

Whitman 2



Allow me to talk about myself.

I am at a point in my life where I don’t need compliments — although, naturally, I appreciate and welcome them, store them up in my “bank” of pleasant remembrances.

But I don’t worry much about what people think of me.

I am introspective, often find fault with myself. I also have some knowledge of good points of my own that I might have once overlooked.

For instance: I think I appreciate this about Whitman — what I spoke of above — because I can see it in myself and my own behavior. Individuals I encounter in all sorts of situations in daily life are rarely negligible to me. They are almost all unique — all, a priori, interesting and valuable to me for having met them. This includes people met in what might be thought of as perfunctory encounters.

Whitman regarded it as a privilege to meet young soldiers from various places and backgrounds. The same with me with the people I encounter.

A couple of examples — trivial, except that they make my point.

Fiona, the clerk from Queens whom I engaged in conversation at a FedEx center on Madison Avenue a few months ago. (I was sending something.) She said she loved talking with me. I haven’t forgotten her. We compared notes about living in New York.

An HP help desk technician from India who answered a call recently. I found him very interesting and congenial and learned much from him about India and especially a particular interest of his: languages, including Sanskrit. As the talk progressed (during which he was working on my computer remotely), it got more and more friendly and interesting. He sent me an email after the online session:

November 4, 2022

Hello Roger,

Greetings of the day!!

This e-mail is with reference to your case ID : _____. If you have any issues please call us directly.

It was really really nice talking to you.

Have a great day!



The workers at my favorite pub: Philomena, Amy, Jemina, Yesmin, Alexa, Anniika, Bianca, Noureen, Fiona (my first waitress friend; just left).

I owe these traits and proclivities of mine to my parents. I would say that it is a matter of showing an appreciation for and a keen interest in people.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   January 2023

Vivaldi, “Qui sedes ad dexteram Patrtis”


Vivaldi, “Qui sedes ad dexteram Patrtis”



from his Gloria, RV 588

Sometimes I think that Vivaldi does not get as much credit as he deserves.

Which is to say that everyone knows The Four Seasons — one hears it in advertising — but many of the choral works, such as this one (the lesser known of three Glorias known to have been composed by Vivaldi in his lifetime), are not preformed or heard that often.

This performance is by the Budapest Madrigal Choir under the direction of Ferenc Szekeres.

— posted by Roger W. Smith

   January 2023

Walt Whitman, “The Great Army of the Sick”

Walt Whitman, ‘The Great Army of the Sick’ – NY Times 2-26-1863


Posted here:

Walt Whitman

“The Great Army of the Sick; Military Hospitals in Washington”

The New York Times

February 26, 1863


— Roger W. Smith

   January 2023