Tuesday, September 01, 2009

'i sit and look out' by walt whitman

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,
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.


Unknown said...

"See, hear, and am silent."

"Herein lies the problem."
~Brother Tim

Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

"See, hear, and am silent"... Whitman made such a subtle yet fine point with his ending. Beautiful.

jmsjoin said...

That is the problem, silence is not always golden. Boy was he bitter, he should have spoken up!


And the same issues he wrote about, remain pretty much the same - now that is sad, isn't it.

billie said...

perhaps ww felt as i do- not much good actually comes from speaking up. we spoke up in 2006 amd before and no one listened and are still not listening.

not much has changed in 150 years.

Spadoman said...

Ditto to all of the above comments.
When will we ever learn?

jams o donnell said...

Very little changes sadly. We all know that history repeats (after a fashion) but nobody is prepared to stare our past or present truly in the face and make the necessary change... and I mean all of us