Poem in my pocket

This is where I'm at today.  From Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, #83

I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all oppression and shame;

 
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with themselves, remorseful after deeds done;  
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt, desperate;  
I see the wife misused by her husband—I see the treacherous seducer of young women;  
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be hid—I see these sights on the earth;          5
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny—I see martyrs and prisoners;  
I observe a famine at sea—I observe the sailors casting lots who shall be kill’d, to preserve the lives of the rest;  
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;  
All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon,  
See, hear, and am silent.
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2 Comments »

  1. jonathantu Said:

    WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer;
    When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
    When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
    When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
    How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
    Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
    In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
    Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

    ***

    One of my favorites.

  2. Amen.

    ~ FR


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