9 January 2012

{My Secret Garden}

No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you, terrible year! 
Not you as some pale poetling, seated at a desk, lisping cadenzas 

But as a strong man, erect, clothed in blue clothes, advancing, 
carrying a rifle on your shoulder,  With well-gristled body and sunburnt face and hands–with a knife in 
the belt at your side,  As I heard you shouting loud–your sonorous voice ringing across the 

Your masculine voice, O year, as rising amid the great cities, 
Amid the men of Manhattan I saw you, as one of the workmen, the 
dwellers in Manhattan; 

Or with large steps crossing the prairies out of Illinois and 
Indiana,  Rapidly crossing the West with springy gait, and descending the 

Or down from the great lakes, or in Pennsylvania, or on deck along 
the Ohio river; 

Or southward along the Tennessee or Cumberland rivers, or at 
Chattanooga on the mountain top, 
Saw I your gait and saw I your sinewy limbs, clothed in blue, bearing 
weapons, robust year; 

Heard your determin’d voice, launch’d forth again and again; 
Year that suddenly sang by the mouths of the round-lipp’d cannon, 
I repeat you, hurrying, crashing, sad, distracted year. 

                        -Walt Whitman.



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