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Archive W-X

· Among the Multitude by Walt Whitman · Adieu To a Soldier by Walt Whitman · Beat! Beat! Drums! by Walt Whitman · When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer by Walt Whitman · “Desmond Tutu se laaste vlug” a farewell poem by Carina van der Walt · Rebecca Watts: Red Gloves (Poetry) · Wout Waanders wint met bundel ‘Parkplan’ de 34e C. Buddingh’-prijs 2021 · Walt Whitman: On the Beach at Night · Ella Wheeler Wilcox: A Dream · Walt Whitman: Song of the banner at daybreak (Poem) · Walt Whitman: The wound-dresser (Poem) · Walt Whitman: Give me the splendid silent sun

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Among the Multitude by Walt Whitman

 

Among the Multitude

Among the men and women the multitude,
I perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs,
Acknowledging none else, not parent, wife, husband, brother, child,
any nearer than I am,
Some are baffled, but that one is not–that one knows me.

Ah lover and perfect equal,
I meant that you should discover me so by faint indirections,
And I when I meet you mean to discover you by the like in you.

Walt Whitman
(1819 – 1892)
Poem: Among the Multitude

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive W-X, Archive W-X, Whitman, Walt


Adieu To a Soldier by Walt Whitman

 

Adieu To a Soldier

Adieu, O soldier!
You of the rude campaigning, (which we shared,)
The rapid march, the life of the camp,
The hot contention of opposing fronts’the long maneuver,
Red battles with their slaughter, ‘the stimulus’the strong, terrific game,
Spell of all brave and manly hearts’the trains of Time through you, and like of you, all fill’d,,
With war, and war’s expression.

Adieu, dear comrade!
Your mission is fulfill’d—but I, more warlike,
Myself, and this contentious soul of mine,
Still on our own campaigning bound,
Through untried roads, with ambushes, opponents lined,
Through many a sharp defeat and many a crisis’often baffled,
Here marching, ever marching on, a war fight out’aye here,
To fiercer, weightier battles give expression.

Walt Whitman
(1819 – 1892)
Poem: Adieu To a Soldier

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive W-X, Archive W-X, Whitman, Walt


Beat! Beat! Drums! by Walt Whitman

 

Beat! Beat! Drums!

Beat! beat! drums!–Blow! bugles! blow!
Through the windows–through doors–burst like a ruthless force,
Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation;
Into the school where the scholar is studying;
Leave not the bridegroom quiet–no happiness must he have now with his bride;
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, plowing his field or gathering his grain;
So fierce you whirr and pound, you drums–so shrill you bugles blow.

Beat! beat! drums!–Blow! bugles! blow!
Over the traffic of cities–over the rumble of wheels in the streets:
Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? No sleepers must sleep in those beds;
No bargainers’ bargains by day–no brokers or speculators–Would they continue?
Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to sing?
Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case before the judge?
Then rattle quicker, heavier drums–you bugles wilder blow.

Beat! beat! drums!–Blow! bugles! blow!
Make no parley–stop for no expostulation;
Mind not the timid–mind not the weeper or prayer;
Mind not the old man beseeching the young man;
Let not the child’s voice be heard, nor the mother’s entreaties;
Make even the trestles to shake the dead, where they lie awaiting the hearses,
So strong you thump, O terrible drums–so loud you bugles blow.

Walt Whitman
(1819 – 1892)
Poem: Beat! Beat! Drums!

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive W-X, Archive W-X, Whitman, Walt


When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer by Walt Whitman

 

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Walt Whitman
(1819 – 1892)
Poem: When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive W-X, Archive W-X, Whitman, Walt


“Desmond Tutu se laaste vlug” a farewell poem by Carina van der Walt

 

Desmond Tutu se laaste vlug

in sy laaste tyd sweef hy geluidloos oor die water

die wind hou asem op oor die stroomversnellings

geen Woord meer ontsnap uit sy snawel nie

hy is visarend aartsbiskop vader man

sy oë speur stroomop & stroomaf

na dubbele reënboë soos poorte op die horison

salf wierook mirre was woorde vir sy kinders        ook vuur

nou verswart & skeur sy kleed as sy roep die stilte breek

met uitgestrekte kloue in ’n laaste seëngroet duik hy verloor

sy kruis & vang hy ’n vir sy vlug onder deur ’n reënboog

 

Carina van der Walt
Desmond Tutu se laaste vlug*
Farewell poem

 

* In Greek and Roman times, the Eagle was referred to as a God or “The King of Birds”. In many cultures the Eagle is known as a symbol of power and resurrection,

Desmond Tutu was a South African Anglican bishop and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. In 1984 Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Tutu died from cancer at the Oasis Frail Care Centre in Cape Town on 26 December 2021, at the age of 90. The funeral took place on 1 January 2022 at St. George’s Cathedral, Cape Town.

Carina van der Walt moved from Klerksdorp in South Africa to the Netherlands in 2007. In Klerksdorp she was a high school teacher during apartheid. After the death of her first husband she took up her studies in literature. She came to Tilburg University for an exchange and met her future husband. The same city (Klerksdorp recently renamed to Matlosana) was the birthplace of archbishop Desmond Tutu. He qualified as a teacher and taught there for the first years of his professional life until a law on Bantu education made it impossible for him to fulfil his work. He resigned and moved to London to get educated to become a priest. They share the same backdrop, the dry half desert part of the North West province with the beautiful acacia trees. Parenthood was an important part of both their lives.

Van der Walt met Tutu once in 2012. He came to The Hague to unveil the statue Long Walk to Freedom in celebration of Nelson Mandela. He made a massive impression on her. Carina van der Walt now lives in Tilburg in The Netherlands. She works as a writer, poet and editor.

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: # Archive S.A. literature, Apartheid, Archive W-X, Carina van der Walt, In Memoriam, Walt, Carina van der


Rebecca Watts: Red Gloves (Poetry)

In this follow-up to her acclaimed debut The Met Office Advises Caution, Rebecca Watts observes and tests the limits of humanity’s engagement with the non-human.

By turns lyrical and narrative, the poems examine familiar subjects – environmental crisis, hawks, hospitals, the sea, barbecues, flowers, Emily Dickinson – only to find their subjects staring, sometimes fighting, back.

Nature and nurture, equally red in tooth and claw, power a book-long sparring match between the overthinking poet and the ever-thoughtless universe, between the craft’s isolation and the world’s irrepressible variety.

Gloves on and gloves off, the poet’s hands destroy and build, gather and scatter, caress and strike.

 

Red Gloves

The women are carrying the coffin. Under the fear
of slippage they make slow steps.
We cannot say that they advance.

More than one woman is weathering – from the cool
top of her head to her strained fingers to her toes
pushed together in interview shoes – the urge,
like a rip tide, to run backwards and away.
Today is not a normal day.

( . . . )

 

Rebecca Watts was born in Suffolk in 1983 and currently lives in Cambridge. Her debut poetry collection, The Met Office Advises Caution, was published by Carcanet in 2016. She is also the editor of Elizabeth Jennings: New Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2019).

Publisher: ‎ Carcanet Press Ltd.
Language: ‎ English
Paperback
72 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 178410955X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1784109554
2020
£9.89

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: #Editors Choice Archiv, - Book News, Archive W-X, Archive W-X


Wout Waanders wint met bundel ‘Parkplan’ de 34e C. Buddingh’-prijs 2021

Poetry International heeft 11 juni tijdens het Poetry International Festival de C. Buddingh’-prijs 2021 toegekend aan de Nederlandse dichter Wout Waanders, voor zijn poëziedebuut Parkplan, een uitgave van De Harmonie. In toegankelijke verzen komt het leven van alledag aan bod: soms grappig, dan weer keihard.

Per gedicht weet je niet wat je kan verwachten: of het start absurd, en dan gaat het over iets wezenlijks zoals ziek zijn en verdwijnen, of het begint heel serieus over hoe een relatie in de slop zit en wordt uiteindelijk weer licht.

Dit jaar vond de ontknoping van de C. Buddingh’-prijs zowel in de zaal in LantarenVenster in Rotterdam als online plaats.

Ook de dichters Schiavone, René Smeets en Dorien de Wit maakten met hun debuut kans op de prijs.

De jury bestond uit Ellen Deckwitz (voorzitter), Mylo Freeman en Ilke Froyen.

De jury: “Parkplan is een zeer consistente bundel die handelt over de worsteling die het bestaan is, en hoe we daar met onze dagelijkse kleine onderhandelingen toch een kloppend geheel van proberen te maken.” Wout Waanders draait de realiteit een kwartslag, maar net genoeg om er helemaal in mee te gaan. Je stapt naar binnen en alles lijkt volkomen vanzelfsprekend:

Op een onbewaakt ogenblik
was er een meisje in mijn
rabarberlimonade gesprongen.

34e C. Buddingh’-prijs 2021
Voor de 34ste editie van de C. Buddingh’-prijs werden 25 poëziedebuten ingezonden. De jury prees het gemiddeld hoge niveau van de poëzie-eerstelingen. “Er werd intelligent geënjambeerd, de slimme intertekstualiteiten vlogen je om de ogen en aan ieder detail, van titel tot vormgeving, van pagina-opmaak tot kleurstelling, was aandacht besteed”, aldus de jury. “Er was een aantal waaruit niet alleen technisch, maar ook empathisch vernuft sprak. De bereidwilligheid om alleen te willen plezieren, maar ook om een statement in te nemen van wat poëzie vermag. Deze overtuigden door de eigen stem, doordat ze het risico durfden te nemen de lezer voor het hoofd te stoten, buiten de gebaande paden van de dichtkunst te willen gaan.”

Met de jaarlijkse uitreiking van de C. Buddingh’-prijs beoogt Poetry International sinds 1988 meer aandacht te genereren voor de meest talentvolle nieuwe stemmen in de Nederlandstalige poëzie. Voor menig dichter van naam was de C. Buddingh’-prijs de eerste belangrijke trofee die in de wacht werd gesleept. Joke van Leeuwen, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer en Anna Enquist, of recenter Lieke Marsman, Ellen Deckwitz, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld en Radna Fabias en Roberta Petzoldt wonnen de prijs. In 2020 ging de prijs naar de Vlaamse dichter Jens Meijen.

• Wout Waanders wint 34e C. Buddingh’-prijs 2021
• Parkplan beste poëziedebuut van het jaar
• 25 ingezonden debuutbundels

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: #Modern Poetry Archive, - Book News, Archive A-B, Archive W-X, Awards & Prizes, Buddingh', Cees, Conceptual writing, Marsman, Lieke, Poetry International, Rijneveld, Marieke Lucas


Walt Whitman: On the Beach at Night

 

On the Beach at Night

On the beach at night,
Stands a child with her father,
Watching the east, the autumn sky.

Up through the darkness,
While ravening clouds, the burial clouds, in black masses spreading,
Lower sullen and fast athwart and down the sky,
Amid a transparent clear belt of ether yet left in the east,
Ascends large and calm the lord-star Jupiter,
And nigh at hand, only a very little above,
Swim the delicate sisters the Pleiades.

From the beach the child holding the hand of her father,
Those burial-clouds that lower victorious soon to devour all,
Watching, silently weeps.

Weep not, child,
Weep not, my darling,
With these kisses let me remove your tears,
The ravening clouds shall not long be victorious,
They shall not long possess the sky, they devour the stars only in apparition,
Jupiter shall emerge, be patient, watch again another night, the Pleiades shall emerge,
They are immortal, all those stars both silvery and golden shall shine out again,
The great stars and the little ones shall shine out again, they endure,
The vast immortal suns and the long-enduring pensive moons shall again shine.

Then dearest child mournest thou only for Jupiter?
Considerest thou alone the burial of the stars?

Something there is,
(With my lips soothing thee, adding I whisper,
I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,)
Something there is more immortal even than the stars,
(Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,)
Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter
Longer than sun or any revolving satellite,
Or the radiant sisters the Pleiades.

Walt Whitman
(1819–1892)
On the Beach at Night

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive W-X, Archive W-X, Whitman, Walt


Ella Wheeler Wilcox: A Dream

A Dream

In the night I dreamed that you had died,
And I thought you lay in your winding sheet;
And I kneeled low by your coffin side,
With my cheek on your heart that had ceased to beat.

And I thought as I looked on your form so still,
A terrible woe, and an awful pain,
Fierce as vultures that slay and kill,
Tore at my bosom and maddened my brain.

And then it seemed that the chill of death
Over me there like a mantle fell,
And I knew by my fluttering, failing breath
That the end was near, and all was well.

I woke from my dream in the black midnight –
It was only a dream at worst or best –
But I lay and thought till the dawn of light,
Had the dream been true we had both been blest.

Better to kneel by your still dead form,
With my cheek on your breast, and die that way,
Than to live and battle with night and storm,
And drift away from you day by day.

Better the anguish of death and loss,
The sharp, quick pain, and the darkness, then,
Than living on with this heavy cross
To bear about in the world of men.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(1855 – 1919)
A Dream (Poem)

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive W-X, Archive W-X, CLASSIC POETRY


Walt Whitman: Song of the banner at daybreak (Poem)

  

Song of the banner
at daybreak

 

Poet

O a new song, a free song,
Flapping, flapping, flapping, flapping, by sounds, by voices clearer,
By the wind’s voice and that of the drum,
By the banner’s voice and child’s voice and sea’s voice and father’s voice,
Low on the ground and high in the air,
On the ground where father and child stand,
In the upward air where their eyes turn,
Where the banner at daybreak is flapping.

Words! bookwords! what are you?
Words no more, for hearken and see,
My song is there in the open air, and I must sing,
With the banner and pennant a-flapping.

I’ll weave the chord and twine in,
Man’s desire and babe’s desire, I’ll twine them in, I’ll put in life,
I’ll put the bayonet’s flashing point, I’ll let bullets and slugs whizz,
(As one carrying a symbol and menace far into the future,
Crying with trumpet voice, _Arouse and beware! Beware and arouse!_)
I’ll pour the verse with streams of blood, full of volition, full of joy.
Then loosen, launch forth, to go and compete,
With the banner and pennant a-flapping.

Pennant

Come up here, bard, bard,
Come up here, soul, soul,
Come up here, dear little child,
To fly in the clouds and winds with me, and play with the measureless light.

Child

Father what is that in the sky beckoning to me with long finger?
And what does it say to me all the while?

Father

Nothing my babe you see in the sky,
And nothing at all to you it says–but look you my babe,
Look at these dazzling things in the houses, and see you the money-shops opening,
And see you the vehicles preparing to crawl along the streets with goods;
These, ah these, how valued and toil’d for these!
How envied by all the earth.

Poet

Fresh and rosy red the sun is mounting high,
On floats the sea in distant blue careering through its channels,
On floats the wind over the breast of the sea setting in toward land,
The great steady wind from west or west-by-south,
Floating so buoyant with milk-white foam on the waters.

But I am not the sea nor the red sun,
I am not the wind with girlish laughter,
Not the immense wind which strengthens, not the wind which lashes,
Not the spirit that ever lashes its own body to terror and death,
But I am that which unseen comes and sings, sings, sings,
Which babbles in brooks and scoots in showers on the land,
Which the birds know in the woods mornings and evenings,
And the shore-sands know and the hissing wave, and that banner and pennant,
Aloft there flapping and flapping.

Child

O father it is alive–it is full of people–it has children,
O now it seems to me it is talking to its children,
I hear it–it talks to me–O it is wonderful!
O it stretches–it spreads and runs so fast–O my father,
It is so broad it covers the whole sky.

Father

Cease, cease, my foolish babe,
What you are saying is sorrowful to me, much it displeases me;
Behold with the rest again I say, behold not banners and pennants aloft,
But the well-prepared pavements behold, and mark the solid-wall’d houses.

Banner and Pennant

Speak to the child O bard out of Manhattan,
To our children all, or north or south of Manhattan,
Point this day, leaving all the rest, to us over all–and yet we know not why,
For what are we, mere strips of cloth profiting nothing,
Only flapping in the wind?

Poet

I hear and see not strips of cloth alone,
I hear the tramp of armies, I hear the challenging sentry,
I hear the jubilant shouts of millions of men, I hear Liberty!
I hear the drums beat and the trumpets blowing,
I myself move abroad swift-rising flying then,
I use the wings of the land-bird and use the wings of the sea-bird, and look down as from a height,
I do not deny the precious results of peace, I see populous cities with wealth incalculable,
I see numberless farms, I see the farmers working in their fields or barns,
I see mechanics working, I see buildings everywhere founded, going up, or finished,
I see trains of cars swiftly speeding along railroad tracks drawn by the locomotives,
I see the stores, depots, of Boston, Baltimore, Charleston, New Orleans,
I see far in the West the immense area of grain, I dwell awhile hovering,
I pass to the lumber forests of the North, and again to the Southern plantation, and again to California;
Sweeping the whole I see the countless profit, the busy gatherings, earn’d wages,
See the Identity formed out of thirty-eight spacious and haughty
States, (and many more to come,)
See forts on the shores of harbors, see ships sailing in and out;
Then over all, (aye! aye!) my little and lengthen’d pennant shaped like a sword,
Runs swiftly up indicating war and defiance–and now the halyards have rais’d it,
Side of my banner broad and blue, side of my starry banner,
Discarding peace over all the sea and land.

Banner and Pennant

Yet louder, higher, stronger, bard! yet farther, wider cleave!
No longer let our children deem us riches and peace alone,
We may be terror and carnage, and are so now,
Not now are we any one of these spacious and haughty States, (nor any five, nor ten,)
Nor market nor depot we, nor money-bank in the city,
But these and all, and the brown and spreading land, and the mines below, are ours,
And the shores of the sea are ours, and the rivers great and small,
And the fields they moisten, and the crops and the fruits are ours,
Bays and channels and ships sailing in and out are ours–while we over all,
Over the area spread below, the three or four millions of square miles, the capitals,
The forty millions of people,–O bard! in life and death supreme,
We, even we, henceforth flaunt out masterful, high up above,
Not for the present alone, for a thousand years chanting through you,
This song to the soul of one poor little child.

Child

O my father I like not the houses,
They will never to me be any thing, nor do I like money,
But to mount up there I would like, O father dear, that banner I like,
That pennant I would be and must be.

Father

Child of mine you fill me with anguish,
To be that pennant would be too fearful,
Little you know what it is this day, and after this day, forever,
It is to gain nothing, but risk and defy every thing,
Forward to stand in front of wars–and O, such wars!–what have you to do with them?
With passions of demons, slaughter, premature death?

Banner

Demons and death then I sing,
Put in all, aye all will I, sword-shaped pennant for war,
And a pleasure new and ecstatic, and the prattled yearning of children,
Blent with the sounds of the peaceful land and the liquid wash of the sea,
And the black ships fighting on the sea envelop’d in smoke,
And the icy cool of the far, far north, with rustling cedars and pines,
And the whirr of drums and the sound of soldiers marching, and the hot sun shining south,
And the beach-waves combing over the beach on my Eastern shore, and my Western shore the same,
And all between those shores, and my ever running Mississippi with bends and chutes,
And my Illinois fields, and my Kansas fields, and my fields of Missouri,
The Continent, devoting the whole identity without reserving an atom,
Pour in! whelm that which asks, which sings, with all and the yield of all,
Fusing and holding, claiming, devouring the whole,
No more with tender lip, nor musical labial sound,
But out of the night emerging for good, our voice persuasive no more,
Croaking like crows here in the wind.

Poet

My limbs, my veins dilate, my theme is clear at last,
Banner so broad advancing out of the night, I sing you haughty and resolute,
I burst through where I waited long, too long, deafen’d and blinded,
My hearing and tongue are come to me, (a little child taught me,)
I hear from above O pennant of war your ironical call and demand,
Insensate! insensate! (yet I at any rate chant you,) O banner!
Not houses of peace indeed are you, nor any nor all their prosperity,
(if need be, you shall again have every one of those houses to destroy them,
You thought not to destroy those valuable houses, standing fast, full of comfort, built with money,
May they stand fast, then? not an hour except you above them and all stand fast;)
O banner, not money so precious are you, not farm produce you, nor the material good nutriment,
Nor excellent stores, nor landed on wharves from the ships,
Not the superb ships with sail-power or steam-power, fetching and carrying cargoes,
Nor machinery, vehicles, trade, nor revenues–but you as henceforth I see you,
Running up out of the night, bringing your cluster of stars, (ever-enlarging stars,)
Divider of daybreak you, cutting the air, touch’d by the sun, measuring the sky,
(Passionately seen and yearn’d for by one poor little child,
While others remain busy or smartly talking, forever teaching thrift, thrift;)
O you up there! O pennant! where you undulate like a snake hissing so curious,
Out of reach, an idea only, yet furiously fought for, risking bloody death, loved by me,
So loved–O you banner leading the day with stars brought from the night!
Valueless, object of eyes, over all and demanding all–(absolute owner of all)–O banner and pennant!
I too leave the rest–great as it is, it is nothing–houses, machines are nothing–I see them not,
I see but you, O warlike pennant! O banner so broad, with stripes, I sing you only,
Flapping up there in the wind.

Walt Whitman
(1819 – 1892)
Song of the banner at daybreak
From: Leaves of grass

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More in: Archive W-X, Archive W-X, Whitman, Walt


Walt Whitman: The wound-dresser (Poem)

  

 The wound-dresser

  1

An old man bending I come among new faces,
Years looking backward resuming in answer to children,
Come tell us old man, as from young men and maidens that love me,
(Arous’d and angry, I’d thought to beat the alarum, and urge relentless war,
But soon my fingers fail’d me, my face droop’d and I resign’d myself,
To sit by the wounded and soothe them, or silently watch the dead;)
Years hence of these scenes, of these furious passions, these chances,
Of unsurpass’d heroes, (was one side so brave? the other was equally brave;)
Now be witness again, paint the mightiest armies of earth,
Of those armies so rapid so wondrous what saw you to tell us?
What stays with you latest and deepest? of curious panics,
Of hard-fought engagements or sieges tremendous what deepest remains?

  2

O maidens and young men I love and that love me,
What you ask of my days those the strangest and sudden your talking recalls,
Soldier alert I arrive after a long march cover’d with sweat and dust,
In the nick of time I come, plunge in the fight, loudly shout in the rush of successful charge,
Enter the captur’d works–yet lo, like a swift-running river they fade,
Pass and are gone they fade–I dwell not on soldiers’ perils or soldiers’ joys,
(Both I remember well-many the hardships, few the joys, yet I was content.)

But in silence, in dreams’ projections,
While the world of gain and appearance and mirth goes on,
So soon what is over forgotten, and waves wash the imprints off the sand,
With hinged knees returning I enter the doors, (while for you up there,
Whoever you are, follow without noise and be of strong heart.)

Bearing the bandages, water and sponge,
Straight and swift to my wounded I go,
Where they lie on the ground after the battle brought in,
Where their priceless blood reddens the grass the ground,
Or to the rows of the hospital tent, or under the roof’d hospital,
To the long rows of cots up and down each side I return,
To each and all one after another I drawn near, not one do I miss,
An attendant follows holding a tray, he carries a refuse pail,
Soon to be fill’d with clotted rags and blood, emptied, and fill’d again.

I onward go, I stop,
With hinged knees and steady hand to dress wounds,
I am firm with each, the pangs are sharp yet unavoidable,
One turns to me his appealing eyes-poor boy! I never knew you,
Yet I think I could not refuse this moment to die for you, if that would save you.

  3

On, on I go, (open doors of time! open hospital doors!)
The crush’d head I dress, (poor crazed hand tear not the bandage away,)
The neck of the cavalry-man with the bullet through and through I examine,
Hard the breathing rattles, quite glazed already the eye, yet life struggles hard,
(Come sweet death! be persuaded O beautiful death!
In mercy come quickly.)

From the stump of the arm, the amputated hand,
I undo the clotted lint, remove the slough, wash off the matter and blood,
Back on his pillow the soldier bends with curv’d neck and side-falling head,
His eyes are closed, his face is pale, he dares not look on the bloody stump,
And has not yet look’d on it.

I dress a wound in the side, deep, deep,
But a day or two more, for see the frame all wasted and sinking,
And the yellow-blue countenance see.

I dress the perforated shoulder, the foot with the bullet-wound,
Cleanse the one with a gnawing and putrid gangrene, so sickening, so offensive,
While the attendant stands behind aside me holding the tray and pail.

I am faithful, I do not give out,
The fractur’d thigh, the knee, the wound in the abdomen,
These and more I dress with impassive hand, (yet deep in my breast a fire, a burning flame.)

  4

Thus in silence in dreams’ projections,
Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals,
The hurt and wounded I pacify with soothing hand,
I sit by the restless all the dark night, some are so young,
Some suffer so much, I recall the experience sweet and sad,
(Many a soldier’s loving arms about this neck have cross’d and rested,
Many a soldier’s kiss dwells on these bearded lips.)

Walt Whitman
(1819 – 1892)
The wound-dresser
From: Leaves of grass

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive W-X, Archive W-X, Whitman, Walt


Walt Whitman: Give me the splendid silent sun

 

Give me the splendid silent sun

1

Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling,
Give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard,
Give me a field where the unmow’d grass grows,
Give me an arbor, give me the trellis’d grape,
Give me fresh corn and wheat, give me serene-moving animals teaching content,
Give me nights perfectly quiet as on high plateaus west of the Mississippi, and I looking up at the stars,
Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturb’d,
Give me for marriage a sweet-breath’d woman of whom I should never tire,
Give me a perfect child, give me away aside from the noise of the world a rural domestic life,
Give me to warble spontaneous songs recluse by myself, for my own ears only,
Give me solitude, give me Nature, give me again O Nature your primal sanities!

These demanding to have them, (tired with ceaseless excitement, and rack’d by the war-strife,)
These to procure incessantly asking, rising in cries from my heart,
While yet incessantly asking still I adhere to my city,
Day upon day and year upon year O city, walking your streets,
Where you hold me enchain’d a certain time refusing to give me up,
Yet giving to make me glutted, enrich’d of soul, you give me forever faces;
(O I see what I sought to escape, confronting, reversing my cries,
I see my own soul trampling down what it ask’d for.)

2

Keep your splendid silent sun,
Keep your woods O Nature, and the quiet places by the woods,
Keep your fields of clover and timothy, and your corn-fields and orchards,
Keep the blossoming buckwheat fields where the Ninth-month bees hum;
Give me faces and streets–give me these phantoms incessant and endless along the trottoirs!
Give me interminable eyes–give me women–give me comrades and lovers by the thousand!
Let me see new ones every day–let me hold new ones by the hand every day!
Give me such shows–give me the streets of Manhattan!
Give me Broadway, with the soldiers marching–give me the sound of the trumpets and drums!
(The soldiers in companies or regiments–some starting away, flush’d and reckless,
Some, their time up, returning with thinn’d ranks, young, yet very old, worn, marching, noticing nothing;)
Give me the shores and wharves heavy-fringed with black ships!
O such for me! O an intense life, full to repletion and varied!
The life of the theatre, bar-room, huge hotel, for me!
The saloon of the steamer! the crowded excursion for me! the torchlight procession!
The dense brigade bound for the war, with high piled military wagons following;
People, endless, streaming, with strong voices, passions, pageants,
Manhattan streets with their powerful throbs, with beating drums as now,
The endless and noisy chorus, the rustle and clank of muskets, (even the sight of the wounded,)
Manhattan crowds, with their turbulent musical chorus!
Manhattan faces and eyes forever for me.

Walt Whitman
(1819 – 1892)
Give me the splendid silent sun
From: Leaves of grass

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive W-X, Archive W-X, Whitman, Walt


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