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

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Sparkles From The Wheel


WHERE the city's ceaseless crowd moves on, the live-long day,
Withdrawn, I join a group of children watching--I pause aside with
them.

By the curb, toward the edge of the flagging,
A knife-grinder works at his wheel, sharpening a great knife;
Bending over, he carefully holds it to the stone--by foot and knee,
With measur'd tread, he turns rapidly--As he presses with light but
firm hand,
Forth issue, then, in copious golden jets,
Sparkles from the wheel.


The scene, and all its belongings--how they seize and affect me!
The sad, sharp-chinn'd old man, with worn clothes, and broad
shoulder-band of leather; 10
Myself, effusing and fluid--a phantom curiously floating--now here
absorb'd and arrested;

The group, (an unminded point, set in a vast surrounding;)
The attentive, quiet children--the loud, proud, restive base of the
streets;
The low, hoarse purr of the whirling stone--the light-press'd blade,
Diffusing, dropping, sideways-darting, in tiny showers of gold,
Sparkles from the wheel.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002


Read poems about / on: children, city, sad, light, work, child

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Comments about this poem (A Promise To California by Walt Whitman )

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  • Shelly Robertson (12/2/2005 10:49:00 AM)

    Walt Whitman describes the beauty of the world. He describes what he sees surronding him and he describes the beauty in each of these things.

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