For National Poetry Month, Walt Whitman's recent return from the dead for his reading of "Song of Myself" was overshadowed by the shocking arrival of Donald Trump, who said that he had not heard of Whitman, but was intrigued by the title, which he thought was "Shlong of Myself," and by prospects for spontaneous "call and response." However, sources confirm that his outbursts merely echoed phrases from his own tweets and stump speech, "Roots of Grass." Below is the complete transcript.
WHITMAN: I celebrate myself, and sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume-
TRUMP: --because I'm going to make America great again, believe me.
W: I lean and loafe at my ease, observing-
T: --how rich I am, so rich I'm funding my own campaign.
W: I have heard what the talkers were talking-
T: --all they do is talk, I hate to tell you, it's a disaster, our leaders don't have a clue, dumb, all we do is lose, we're getting killed out there.
W: The sickness, the loss of money, the depressions, the battles and wars-
T: --BAD! I'm going to repeal Obamacare, it doesn't work, complete failure, we can do it way cheaper, watch me, and then I'll eliminate the EPA and Department of Education, total jokes, we'll save billions, have such a strong army, no one is going to mess with us because if they do, they'll pay the price.
W: A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands. How could I answer? Out of green stuff woven, I guess it must be-
T: --my net worth, which is about 10 billion, and what people say about small hands, I guarantee you, I have no problem. See?
W: The boatmen and clam-diggers, the carpenters, farmers and machinists, the old and young, the foolish as much as the wise-
T: --the poorly educated, they love me-
W: The Kentuckian, Louisianian, Georgian, the Hoosier, Badger, Buckeye, Californians, free Pacific North-Westerners, the hills of Vermont, the woods of Maine or the Texan ranch-
T: --you should see the crowds, even in Florida, little Marco's home state, which, incidentally, we won big, if you want to know the truth.
W: Vivas to those who have fail'd!-
T: --no, heroes who didn't get captured, and I have to tell you, the president lied, never should have gone into Iraq. Sad! But I'm going to change the laws because ISIS is savages, so yes, water-boarding, worse, I'll fill Guantanamo with bad dudes, and no more Muslims coming into the country, makes sense, just ask the smart ones, who are a lot of them good people, I have great friends. we make deals, they love me, but the whole Middle East, what a mess, look at the pathetic job she did, Hillary, who I can't wait to run against, if she isn't in jail for Benghazi and the emails, the way in 2008 she got shlonged by Obama.
W: A kosmo, of Manhattan the son-
T: --yes, me, Donald Trump, my father gave me a small loan, a million, which I paid back because I made deals, hired people, so they all love me, the blacks, the Hispanics, I give them jobs, except for the 11 million I'll round up and deport, but some can come back, as long as it's legal, because we're going to get millions of jobs back from China, who are very smart, they're killing us in trade, China, they do that currency manipulation, so I'll make a deal with them for the Great Wall and move it to our border, make Mexico pay for it 100%.
W: I am cut by bitter and angry hail-
T: --by that bimbo, by Fox, the media, total lightweights, the most dishonest people you'll ever meet, it's absolutely disgusting, I hate to tell you.
W: I am given up by traitors-
T: --by Republicans, these people are disasters, completely ruined the party, the country, I have to be honest.
W: You villain! What are you doing?-
T: --Get that protester out. I wish we could punch him in the face, but we don't. See how nice I am? If he leaves on a stretcher, I'll pay the legal fees. Go back to Bernie, the commie. And speaking of Bernie, "Merry Christmas," like when we were great-no more "Happy Holidays." Get him out. Bye-bye. Bum!
W: I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars-
T: --because grass looks like money and the stars remind me of The Apprentice.
W: I think I could live with animals. They do not sweat and whine-
T: --like Rubio and Cruz.
W: They do not weep-
T: --after school shootings like Obama. Weak!
W: Not one kneels-
T: --like Romney would have when he begged for my endorsement, should have beaten Obama easily, but it's like he was on vacation during the campaign. If you don't show up for work, "You're fired!" Right? Pathetic! I mean, I'm sure Mitt is a nice guy, maybe, but I gave him the best endorsement, ask anyone, and he was nasty, they're all attacking Trump with lies, but we're still winning big-time, way ahead, delegates, polls, and if they try to block me in Cleveland there'll be riots because you have to hit back, that's how it works, our leaders are such babies, little children, I wish we hit back more, no kidding.
W: I go hunting polar furs, leaping chasms-
T: --I like guns, too, I could shoot someone in Times Square, and when I visit Sarah Palin, who did great in Alaska, so beautiful there, the mountains, the cold, which is why they're really tough, and that's good because they're near the Russians, who are also tough, like Putin.
W: I am not to be denied, I compel, I have stores plenty and to spare. My faith is the greatest of faiths-
T: --and let me tell you, what the Pope said was disgraceful, but I'm still beating Ted-Easy! Like Marco, the choker, the basket-case, you should've seen him backstage, and Ted's a liar, which he didn't learn in Canada because I make lots of deals with Canada.
W: You are asking me questions and I hear you, I answer that I cannot answer, you must find out for yourself-
T: --about my specific plans which are America is losing everywhere, things are terrible, we have to start winning.
W: Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself-
T: --on David Duke, NATO, nukes, keeps them guessing so they have to make deals, on torture, abortion, Chris Christie, best governor ever, better than Jeb, so low-energy, and Nikki, a lightweight, over-rated!
W: I am large-
T: --I am huge!
W: I contain multitudes I am not a bit tamed, I am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. I shake my locks at the runaway sun-
T: --because that's where I get the color.
W: I grow from the green I love-
T: --the money, the attention.
W: If you want me, look for me-
T: --in your mirrors.