New York City
Ode to the Journey
The water and land covered planet we call home is a special stone in an infinite universe. This bella gaia, with all its biodiversity, is so diverse that a lifetime would not be enough to explore it fully, and to fathom its grandeur completely. But each footstep is the beginning of a journey that brings you closer, and each affected destination offers new vistas, friends, and delights.
Therefore Mastercard, in cooperation with Wideoyster, presents Ode to the Journey: a series of travel stories -and videos in which we film odes by local poets to their country, region, city or street.
In this edition an ode to New York City: the poem Keep your Splendid Silent Sun by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892). Watch the first Ode to the Journey film below.
Video: Ode to New York City
Meet the poet
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) could be called a Shakespeare of the United States. Poet, journalist and essayist. Whitman had a great influence on American literature and society. His oeuvre revolutionized American poetry. He was a fierce opponent of slavery. His best known work is Leaves of Grass, which played a role in the downfall of Breaking Bad’s Walter White.
Throughout his life, Whitman had a diverse career. He was a teacher in the 1930s and has worked in journalism since the 1940s. Walt Whitman’s work had a great influence on later generations of poets. Hart Crane, Langston Hughes, Robert Lowell, Allen Ginsberg and Cherrie Moraga are Whitman’s testators as are the Spaniard Federico Garcia Lorca and the Chilean Pablo Neruda. Keep your splendid silent sun is one of his most famous poems.
The American poet Walt Whitman
Director: Alessio Cuomo
Edit: Alessio Cuomo and Pim van den Heuvel
Poem: Walt Whitman
Voice: Eric Forsythe
Creative direction: Marco Barneveld
Camera: Rene Koster
Wideoyster Media ©
Keep your splendid silent sun
Keep your splendid silent sun;
Keep your woods, O Nature, and the quiet places by the woods;
Keep your fields of clover and timothy, and your cornfields and orchards;
Give me faces and streets!
Give me these phantoms incessant and endless along the sidewalks!
Give me interminable eyes! Give me women!
Give me comrades and lovers by the thousand!
Let me see new ones every day!
Let me hold new ones by the hand every day!
Give me such shows! Give me the streets of Manhattan!
Give me Broadway, give me the sound of the trumpets and drums!
Give me the shores and the wharves heavy-fringed with the black ships!
O such for me! O an intense life!
The life of the theatre, bar-room, huge hotel, for me!
The saloon of the steamer! The crowded excursion for me!
The torch-light procession!
People, endless, streaming, with strong voices, passions, pageants;
Manhattan streets, with their powerful throbs,
with the beating drums, as now;
Manhattan crowds with their turbulent musical chorus and light of the sparkling eyes;
Manhattan faces and eyes forever for me.