Learn More

Walt Whitman

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

Year Of Meteors, 1859 '60



YEAR of meteors! brooding year!
I would bind in words retrospective, some of your deeds and signs;
I would sing your contest for the 19th Presidentiad;
I would sing how an old man, tall, with white hair, mounted the
scaffold in Virginia;
(I was at hand--silent I stood, with teeth shut close--I watch'd;
I stood very near you, old man, when cool and indifferent, but
trembling with age and your unheal'd wounds, you mounted the
scaffold;)
--I would sing in my copious song your census returns of The States,
The tables of population and products--I would sing of your ships and
their cargoes,
The proud black ships of Manhattan, arriving, some fill'd with
immigrants, some from the isthmus with cargoes of gold;
Songs thereof would I sing--to all that hitherward comes would I
welcome give; 10
And you would I sing, fair stripling! welcome to you from me, sweet
boy of England!
Remember you surging Manhattan's crowds, as you pass'd with your
cortege of nobles?
There in the crowds stood I, and singled you out with attachment;
I know not why, but I loved you... (and so go forth little song,
Far over sea speed like an arrow, carrying my love all folded,
And find in his palace the youth I love, and drop these lines at his
feet;)
--Nor forget I to sing of the wonder, the ship as she swam up my bay,
Well-shaped and stately the Great Eastern swam up my bay, she was 600
feet long,
Her, moving swiftly, surrounded by myriads of small craft, I forget
not to sing;
--Nor the comet that came unannounced out of the north, flaring in
heaven; 20
Nor the strange huge meteor procession, dazzling and clear, shooting
over our heads,
(A moment, a moment long, it sail'd its balls of unearthly light over
our heads,
Then departed, dropt in the night, and was gone;)
--Of such, and fitful as they, I sing--with gleams from them would I
gleam and patch these chants;
Your chants, O year all mottled with evil and good! year of
forebodings! year of the youth I love!
Year of comets and meteors transient and strange!--lo! even here, one
equally transient and strange!
As I flit through you hastily, soon to fall and be gone, what is this
book,
What am I myself but one of your meteors?

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: song, evil, remember, hair, heaven, sea, light, swimming

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Year Of Meteors, 1859 '60 by Walt Whitman )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  2. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  3. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  4. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  5. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  6. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  7. The Three Kings, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  8. If, Rudyard Kipling
  9. A Psalm of Life, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Poem of the Day

poet Emily Jane Brontë

I am the only being whose doom
No tongue would ask no eye would mourn
I never caused a thought of gloom
A smile of joy since I was born

In secret pleasure - secret tears
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Wash Out, Tina Chan
  2. Lucid Awake Changing Dreams, Is It Poetry
  3. Never Easy To Make, Tina Chan
  4. Sorry, Tina Chan
  5. Let us go, Mario,Lucien,Rene Odekerken
  6. ~Hell On Earth Is Art In Heaven~, E Nigma
  7. BABIES LOVE, Christina Sunrise
  8. ANGER STEMS FROM PAIN, Christina Sunrise
  9. ACTION IS WHERE IT STARTS, Christina Sunrise
  10. Night terrors, Ryan Brodesser
[Hata Bildir]