Walt Whitman

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

Ah Poverties, Wincings Sulky Retreats



AH poverties, wincings, and sulky retreats!
Ah you foes that in conflict have overcome me!
(For what is my life, or any man's life, but a conflict with foes--
the old, the incessant war?)
You degradations--you tussle with passions and appetites;
You smarts from dissatisfied friendships, (ah wounds, the sharpest of
all;)
You toil of painful and choked articulations--you meannesses;
You shallow tongue-talks at tables, (my tongue the shallowest of
any;)
You broken resolutions, you racking angers, you smother'd ennuis;
Ah, think not you finally triumph--My real self has yet to come
forth;
It shall yet march forth o'ermastering, till all lies beneath me; 10
It shall yet stand up the soldier of unquestion'd victory.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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