Alec Soth's Archived Blog

November 26, 2006

La Platte Cañon

Filed under: photographs (not mine),poetry — alecsothblog @ 6:33 pm

Just returned from a computer-free Thanksgiving in the Rocky Mountains (hence the Friday Poem on Sunday). I didn’t stay in La Platte Cañon, but both W.H. Jackson and Walt Whitman have nice impressions of the place. Whitman was there in 1892. No sure about Jackson – probably in the 1880’s. But it is nice to imagine them bumping into each other.

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La Platte Cañon by W. H. Jackson
(note Jackson’s wagon and dark tent in view)
you can buy the stereocard for $650 here

Spirit that Form’d this Scene
by Walt Whitman (written in Platte Cañon, Colorado)

Spirit that form’d this scene,
These tumbled rock-piles grim and red,
These reckless heaven-ambitious peaks,
These gorges, turbulent-clear streams, this naked freshness,

These formless wild arrays, for reasons of their own,
I know thee, savage spirit–we have communed together,
Mine too such wild arrays, for reasons of their own;
Was’t charged against my chants they had forgotten art?
To fuse within themselves its rules precise and delicatesse?
The lyrist’s measur’d beat, the wrought-out temple’s
grace–column and polish’d arch forgot?
But thou that revelest here–spirit that form’d this scene,
They have remember’d thee.

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4 Comments

  1. welcome back alec. it’s been cold on the blog front without you.

    where in the rockies were you?

    Comment by ben — November 26, 2006 @ 10:28 pm

  2. Thanks Ben. I was at my brother’s cabin in the appropriately named town of Rustic, CO.

    Comment by Alec Soth — November 26, 2006 @ 10:38 pm

  3. Rustic! i lived in Fort Collins for several years, and spent a lot of time up the Pouder Canyon. i bet it was beautiful. would love to see some photos if you were able to make any.

    Comment by ben — November 26, 2006 @ 11:17 pm

  4. Most of my pictures feature kids in pajamas. I’m not sure I’d be a good mountain photographer. Too intimidating. I prefer hills.

    Comment by Alec Soth — November 27, 2006 @ 12:42 am


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