Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sit and ponder this

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Silent Despair

I Sit and Look Out

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.

-Walt Whitman, (1819-1892),
American humanist, poet, journalist, editor, teacher, and clerk at the U.S. Department of the Interior

Visit the world of Ana Elsner, a contemporary poet who was inspired by Walt Whitman


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would be difficult to add a vision more powerful than that you have provided here. It's commonly said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but you have skillfully combined words with a moving sketch so that Whitman's words become much more haunting and sorrowful than they would standing alone. Those who read this and contemplate their own misdeeds will surely recall this for a lifetime. What a gift you have. Thank you for sharing it with us.


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