Posted by: bobroth | February 7, 2010

“Songs of Myself”

Trippers and askers surround me… by Walt Whitman

Walter Whitman (1819 – 1892), considered by many as the “Father of American Poetry,” wrote often of his experiences of the Self, the silent, transcendental reality at the basis of ephemeral existence—including this excerpt from his poem, “Songs of Myself.” Here is the entire poem.

“Trippers and askers surround me.

People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again.
But they are not the Me myself.

Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am.
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary.
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with sidecurved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.

Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments. I witness and wait.”

Note: Thank you to the great author and humanitarian, Norman Zierold, for submitting this, and other, sublime quotes.

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