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Frequent Contributor
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Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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Whitman among whales

[ Edited ]
I can't really say why but this poem summarizes far too close how I felt after I finished reading MD, on this forum and with the whole life.
ziki

"As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life"


As I wend to the shores I know not,
As I list to the dirge, the voices of men and women wreck'd,
As I inhale the impalpable breezes that set in upon me,
As the ocean so mysterious rolls toward me closer and closer,
I too but signify at the utmost a little wash'd-up drift,

A few sands and dead leaves to gather,
Gather, and merge myself as part of the sands and drift.
O baffled, balk'd, bent to the very earth,
Oppress'd with myself that I have dared to open my mouth,
Aware now that amid all that blab whose echoes recoil upon me I have not once had the least idea who or what I am,
But that before all my arrogant poems the real Me stands yet untouch'd, untold, altogether unreach'd,
Withdrawn far, mocking me with mock-congratulatory signs and bows,
With peals of distant ironical laughter at every word I have written,
Pointing in silence to these songs, and then to the sand beneath.

I perceive I have not really understood any thing, not a single object, and that no man ever can,
Nature here in sight of the sea taking advantage of me to dart upon me and sting me,
Because I have dared to open my mouth to sing at all.


Walt Whitman, 1892, from Leaves of Grass

Message Edited by ziki on 02-03-200712:06 AM

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Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Whitman among whales

Great poem Ziki - thanks. I wonder if Whitman had just finished reading MD?



ziki wrote:
I can't really say why but this poem summarizes far too close how I felt after I finished reading MD, on this forum and with the whole life.
ziki

"As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life"


As I wend to the shores I know not,
As I list to the dirge, the voices of men and women wreck'd,
As I inhale the impalpable breezes that set in upon me,
As the ocean so mysterious rolls toward me closer and closer,
I too but signify at the utmost a little wash'd-up drift,

A few sands and dead leaves to gather,
Gather, and merge myself as part of the sands and drift.
O baffled, balk'd, bent to the very earth,
Oppress'd with myself that I have dared to open my mouth,
Aware now that amid all that blab whose echoes recoil upon me I have not once had the least idea who or what I am,
But that before all my arrogant poems the real Me stands yet untouch'd, untold, altogether unreach'd,
Withdrawn far, mocking me with mock-congratulatory signs and bows,
With peals of distant ironical laughter at every word I have written,
Pointing in silence to these songs, and then to the sand beneath.

I perceive I have not really understood any thing, not a single object, and that no man ever can,
Nature here in sight of the sea taking advantage of me to dart upon me and sting me,
Because I have dared to open my mouth to sing at all.


Walt Whitman, 1892, from Leaves of Grass

Message Edited by ziki on 02-03-200712:06 AM




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fanuzzir
Posts: 1,014
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Re: Whitman among whales

Whitman on board the Pequod. Ahab would have had him drawn and quartered. Or harpooned. Whitman felt he was so immersed in nature that he probably would have said "I was there," as he says in Song of Myself, when Ahab harpoons Moby Dick. A beautiful poem you found, and quite appropros of Melville's mysticism.
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