Walt Whitman

(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

A Woman Waits For Me - Poem by Walt Whitman

A WOMAN waits for me--she contains all, nothing is lacking,
Yet all were lacking, if sex were lacking, or if the moisture of the
right man were lacking.

Sex contains all,
Bodies, Souls, meanings, proofs, purities, delicacies, results,
Songs, commands, health, pride, the maternal mystery, the seminal
All hopes, benefactions, bestowals,
All the passions, loves, beauties, delights of the earth,
All the governments, judges, gods, follow'd persons of the earth,
These are contain'd in sex, as parts of itself, and justifications of

Without shame the man I like knows and avows the deliciousness of his
sex, 10
Without shame the woman I like knows and avows hers.

Now I will dismiss myself from impassive women,
I will go stay with her who waits for me, and with those women that
are warm-blooded and sufficient for me;
I see that they understand me, and do not deny me;
I see that they are worthy of me--I will be the robust husband of
those women.

They are not one jot less than I am,
They are tann'd in the face by shining suns and blowing winds,
Their flesh has the old divine suppleness and strength,
They know how to swim, row, ride, wrestle, shoot, run, strike,
retreat, advance, resist, defend themselves,
They are ultimate in their own right--they are calm, clear, well-
possess'd of themselves. 20

I draw you close to me, you women!
I cannot let you go, I would do you good,
I am for you, and you are for me, not only for our own sake, but for
others' sakes;
Envelop'd in you sleep greater heroes and bards,
They refuse to awake at the touch of any man but me.

It is I, you women--I make my way,
I am stern, acrid, large, undissuadable--but I love you,
I do not hurt you any more than is necessary for you,
I pour the stuff to start sons and daughters fit for These States--I
press with slow rude muscle,
I brace myself effectually--I listen to no entreaties, 30
I dare not withdraw till I deposit what has so long accumulated
within me.

Through you I drain the pent-up rivers of myself,
In you I wrap a thousand onward years,
On you I graft the grafts of the best-beloved of me and America,
The drops I distil upon you shall grow fierce and athletic girls, new
artists, musicians, and singers,
The babes I beget upon you are to beget babes in their turn,
I shall demand perfect men and women out of my love-spendings,
I shall expect them to interpenetrate with others, as I and you
interpenetrate now,
I shall count on the fruits of the gushing showers of them, as I
count on the fruits of the gushing showers I give now,
I shall look for loving crops from the birth, life, death,
immortality, I plant so lovingly now. 40

Comments about A Woman Waits For Me by Walt Whitman

  • Gold Star - 7,392 Points Asit Kumar Sanyal (8/2/2015 6:13:00 AM)

    A like the poem. It makes me smile. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 5,440 Points Spock The Vegan (5/8/2015 12:15:00 PM)

    I think this poem breaks the PoemHunter rules for being sexually explicit, but there is no way to report it. He seems to describe himself as a polygamist. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 11,342 Points G. Akanji Olaniyi (5/8/2015 8:50:00 AM)

    Men in such humility for women? Nice poem, I feel! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,399 Points Kate Lechoe (5/8/2015 7:06:00 AM)

    Wow! What a poem! So descriptive. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 28,812 Points Kim Barney (5/8/2015 6:11:00 AM)

    I had heard before that Whitman was bisexual, and line ten here seems to confirm that for me. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,776 Points Naida Nepascua Supnet (5/8/2015 2:45:00 AM)

    At one point I sensed that he thinks of himself as a blessing to women haha..
    But i like the poem
    It makes me smile
    It makes me ponder
    and yes
    It's Walt Whitman's (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,139 Points Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (5/8/2015 1:24:00 AM)

    Mama mia! There he goes again
    Vilifying a very very sacred act
    Gaining nothing in the bargain
    But then just rudely stating a fact..........

    Something about the tone of the poem seems to suggest that the male is doing a big favour and as such the pain is worth to the other. Yet a very good poem..... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 2 Points Inki Chae (11/1/2014 8:49:00 AM)

    It just makes me laugh everytime (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 2 Points Inki Chae (11/1/2014 8:49:00 AM)

    It just makes me laugh everytime (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sara Stone (12/9/2005 11:01:00 AM)

    I loved this poem because it describes the physical act of sex on so many different levels that I've never thought of before. It takes a simple, almost instinctual act and ties into it the beginning of existence and all the ecstacy in life. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Howard (4/24/2005 8:28:00 PM)

    Whitman is an American Uber Man. Nietzsche would be proud. His passion runs deep and is only surpassed by his certainty. This is what makes him rare among men. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: women, america, woman, husband, birth, strength, pride, sleep, death, hero, hope, girl, son, river, running, swimming, wind

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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