Tag Archives: poetry

at the close of the day

6 Feb

Nothing like a little something from Uncle Walt to make me feel better when I’m blue. He always knows exactly what to say.

When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv’d with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow’d;

And else, when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d, still I was not happy;

But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,

When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light,

When I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing, bathed, laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,

And when I thought how my dear friend, my lover, was on his way coming, O then I was happy;

O then each breath tasted sweeter—and all that day my food nourish’d me more—and the beautiful day pass’d well,

And the next came with equal joy—and with the next, at evening, came my friend;

And that night, while all was still, I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores,

I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands, as directed to me, whispering, to congratulate me,

For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,

In the stillness, in the autumn moonbeams, his face was inclined toward me,

And his arm lay lightly around my breast—and that night I was happy.

to a stranger

13 Mar

13.   TO YOU

STRANGER! if you, passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?

When I saw the NaBloPoMo theme for this month was strange(r), I couldn’t resist a little something from Uncle Walt.  Also, most of you probably aren’t into Whitman like I am, but there’s a really wonderful documentary about him on the PBS website if you’re interested.  Cheers.

52.   TO A STRANGER

PASSING stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me, or a girl with me,
I ate with you, and slept with you—your body has become not yours only, nor left my body
mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass—you take of my beard, breast,
hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you—I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone,
I am to wait—I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

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