In a Dream, I Saw a City Invincible
I Dreamed In A Dream
I DREAM'D in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the
attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth;
I dream'd that was the new City of Friends;
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust
love—it led the rest;
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of
And in all their looks and words.
I awoke one morning last fall with a dream still in my mind; a dream of a large, square painting, yellow ground and dark purple stripes of varying lengths. I quickly made a sketch, and then bought square canvas, plenty of yellow paint, and began working. I painted, and considered, and painted and considered, for many months, adding an orange square, changing the stripes subtly, until one day, all at once, the vision came together for me and I saw the whole painting I wanted. The Whitman poem, a favorite, seemed to fit so well what I wanted to express that I used part of it as the painting title. I feel happy and hopeful when I look at this painting. I like the structure and the ambiguity coexisting, as well as the color forms. Perhaps someday Whitman’s vision will become a reality!