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Poems By Poet Walt Whitman  9/1/2014 8:48:24 PM
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Walt Whitman   Best Poems From
  WALT WHITMAN (31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
 
 
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  149.     

Facing West From California's Shores


FACING west, from California's shores,
Inquiring, tireless, seeking what is yet unfound,
I, a child, very old, over waves, towards the house of maternity, the
land of migrations, look afar,
Look off the shores of my Western Sea--the circle almost circled;
For, starting westward from Hindustan, from the vales of Kashmere,
From Asia--from the north--from the God, the sage, and the hero,
From the south--from the flowery peninsulas, and the spice islands;
Long having wander'd since--round the earth having wander'd,
Now I face home again--very pleas'd and joyous;
(But where is what I started for, so long ago? 10
And why is it yet unfound?)
 
Walt Whitman

Read more: hero poems, house poems, child poems, home poems, sea poems, god poems, children poems
   
 

   
   
 

  150.     

Poets to Come


POETS to come! orators, singers, musicians to come!
Not to-day is to justify me, and answer what I am for;
But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than
before known,
Arouse! Arouse--for you must justify me--you must answer.

I myself but write one or two indicative words for the future,
I but advance a moment, only to wheel and hurry back in the darkness.

I am a man who, sauntering along, without fully stopping, turns a
casual look upon you, and then averts his face,
Leaving it to you to prove and define it,
Expecting the main things from you.
 
Walt Whitman

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  151.     

This Compost


SOMETHING startles me where I thought I was safest;
I withdraw from the still woods I loved;
I will not go now on the pastures to walk;
I will not strip the clothes from my body to meet my lover the sea;
I will not touch my flesh to the earth, as to other flesh, to renew
me.

O how can it be that the ground does not sicken?
How can you be alive, you growths of spring?
How can you furnish health, you blood of herbs, roots, orchards,
grain?
Are they not continually putting distemper'd corpses within you?
Is not every continent work'd over and over with sour dead? 10

Where have you disposed of their carcasses?
Those drunkards and gluttons of so many generations;
Where have you drawn off all the foul liquid and meat?
I do not see any of it upon you to-day--or perhaps I am deceiv'd;
I will run a furrow with my plough--I will press my spade through the
sod, and turn it up underneath;
I am sure I shall expose some of the foul meat.


Behold this compost! behold it well!
Perhaps every mite has once form'd part of a sick person--Yet behold!
The grass of spring covers the prairies,
The bean bursts noislessly through the mould in the garden, 20
The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward,
The apple-buds cluster together on the apple-branches,
The resurrection of the wheat appears with pale visage out of its
graves,
The tinge awakes over the willow-tree and the mulberry-tree,
The he-birds carol mornings and evenings, while the she-birds sit on
their nests,
The young of poultry break through the hatch'd eggs,
The new-born of animals appear--the calf is dropt from the cow, the
colt from the mare,
Out of its little hill faithfully rise the potato's dark green
leaves,
Out of its hill rises the yellow maize-stalk--the lilacs bloom in the
door-yards;
The summer growth is innocent and disdainful above all those strata
of sour dead. 30

What chemistry!
That the winds are really not infectious,
That this is no cheat, this transparent green-wash of the sea, which
is so amorous after me,
That it is safe to allow it to lick my naked body all over with its
tongues,
That it will not endanger me with the fevers that have deposited
themselves in it,
That all is clean forever and forever.
That the cool drink from the well tastes so good,
That blackberries are so flavorous and juicy,
That the fruits of the apple-orchard, and of the orange-orchard--that
melons, grapes, peaches, plums, will none of them poison me,
That when I recline on the grass I do not catch any disease, 40
Though probably every spear of grass rises out of what was once a
catching disease.


Now I am terrified at the Earth! it is that calm and patient,
It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,
It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless
successions of diseas'd corpses,
It distils such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor,
It renews with such unwitting looks, its prodigal, annual, sumptuous
crops,
It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from
them at last.
 
Walt Whitman

Read more: spring poems, tree poems, green poems, sick poems, sea poems, summer poems, together poems, work poems, dark poems, animal poems, rose poems, running poems, wind poems
   
 

   
   
 

  152.     

Ah Poverties, Wincings Sulky Retreats


AH poverties, wincings, and sulky retreats!
Ah you foes that in conflict have overcome me!
(For what is my life, or any man's life, but a conflict with foes--
the old, the incessant war?)
You degradations--you tussle with passions and appetites;
You smarts from dissatisfied friendships, (ah wounds, the sharpest of
all;)
You toil of painful and choked articulations--you meannesses;
You shallow tongue-talks at tables, (my tongue the shallowest of
any;)
You broken resolutions, you racking angers, you smother'd ennuis;
Ah, think not you finally triumph--My real self has yet to come
forth;
It shall yet march forth o'ermastering, till all lies beneath me; 10
It shall yet stand up the soldier of unquestion'd victory.
 
Walt Whitman

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Poems By Poet Walt Whitman