March 9th, 2012

Walt Whitman – Trippers and askers surround me

 Trippers and askers surround me (from Song of Myself)
by Walt Whitman

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,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events;
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 side-curved 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.

— from Song of Myself, by Walt Whitman

Poetry Chaikhana Blog » Walt Whitman – Trippers and askers surround me

Oh, don't i wish this were true of me
Caring, but not alarmed nor annoyed.
Weeping softly perhaps, like Jesus viewing Jerusalem,
But keeping things in perspective.
(Jerusalem is just another town,
towns thrive and die like everything else.)
Compassionate, but not expecting miracles
(Well, maybe expecting miracles.
but only those that happen randomly
because that's what chaos is.)
Being aloft but not aloof,
Seeing but not judging
whatever surprise is coming next.