Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Walt Whitman on 9/11

This is a tribute poem to 9/11 stitched together purely from various poems by Walt Whitman. 
In other words, I like to think of it as Whitman’s tribute to 9/11.

When the thunder-cracking guns arouse me,
  and million-footed Manhattan unpent descends to her pavements,
… I will sing you a song of what I behold …Libertad.
When the facades of the houses are alive with people, when eyes
     gaze riveted tens of thousands at a time
When Broadway is entirely given up to foot-passengers and
    foot-standers, when the mass is densest,

I too arising, answering, descend to the pavements, merge with the
    crowd, and gaze with them…
To us, my city,
Where our tall-topt marble and iron beauties range on opposite
    sides, to walk in the space between,

To-day our Antipodes comes.

 it moves changing, a kaleidoscope divine,
it moves changing before us.

When the fire-flashing, when rude clouds canopy my city
When gorgeous the countless straight stems, thicken with color

your legs are bent and broken

My stars and stripes fluttering in the wind,

Clouds of the west! sun there half an hour high! I see you also face to face.
I am with you, you men and women of a generation

Stand up, tall masts of Mannahatta!—
Throb, baffled and curious brain! throw out questions and answers
Suspend here and everywhere

Burn high your fires, foundry chimneys!
 cast black shadows at nightfall!
cast red and yellow light over the tops of the houses;

We descend upon you and all things—we arrest you all
Creeds and schools in abeyance
  O baffled, balk'd, bent to the very earth,

  Over the carnage rose prophetic a voice,

  Be not dishearten'd, affection shall solve the problems of freedom
  Those who love each other shall become invincible,

I breathe the suffocating smoke, then the flat clouds hover low
     concealing all;

No comments:

Post a Comment

ground hog day

Our central nervous system needs constant stimulation with new stimuli, and so does our brain.  Otherwise, both our sensations and our minds...