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Walt Whitman

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

Voices



NOW I make a leaf of Voices--for I have found nothing mightier than
they are,
And I have found that no word spoken, but is beautiful, in its place.

O what is it in me that makes me tremble so at voices?
Surely, whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her I shall
follow,
As the water follows the moon, silently, with fluid steps, anywhere
around the globe.

All waits for the right voices;
Where is the practis'd and perfect organ? Where is the develop'd
Soul?
For I see every word utter'd thence, has deeper, sweeter, new sounds,
impossible on less terms.

I see brains and lips closed--tympans and temples unstruck,
Until that comes which has the quality to strike and to unclose, 10
Until that comes which has the quality to bring forth what lies
slumbering, forever ready, in all words.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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