Learn More

Walt Whitman

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

Years Of The Modern



YEARS of the modern! years of the unperform'd!
Your horizon rises--I see it parting away for more august dramas;
I see not America only--I see not only Liberty's nation, but other
nations preparing;
I see tremendous entrances and exits--I see new combinations--I see
the solidarity of races;
I see that force advancing with irresistible power on the world's
stage;
(Have the old forces, the old wars, played their parts? are the acts
suitable to them closed?)
I see Freedom, completely arm'd, and victorious, and very haughty,
with Law on one side, and Peace on the other,
A stupendous Trio, all issuing forth against the idea of caste;
--What historic denouements are these we so rapidly approach?
I see men marching and countermarching by swift millions; 10
I see the frontiers and boundaries of the old aristocracies broken;
I see the landmarks of European kings removed;
I see this day the People beginning their landmarks, (all others give
way;)
--Never were such sharp questions ask'd as this day;
Never was average man, his soul, more energetic, more like a God;
Lo! how he urges and urges, leaving the masses no rest;
His daring foot is on land and sea everywhere--he colonizes the
Pacific, the archipelagoes;
With the steam-ship, the electric telegraph, the newspaper, the
wholesale engines of war,
With these, and the world-spreading factories, he interlinks all
geography, all lands;
--What whispers are these, O lands, running ahead of you, passing
under the seas? 20
Are all nations communing? is there going to be but one heart to the
globe?
Is humanity forming, en-masse?--for lo! tyrants tremble, crowns grow
dim;
The earth, restive, confronts a new era, perhaps a general divine
war;
No one knows what will happen next--such portents fill the days and
nights;
Years prophetical! the space ahead as I walk, as I vainly try to
pierce it, is full of phantoms;
Unborn deeds, things soon to be, project their shapes around me;
This incredible rush and heat--this strange extatic fever of dreams,
O years!
Your dreams, O year, how they penetrate through me! (I know not
whether I sleep or wake!)
The perform'd America and Europe grow dim, retiring in shadow behind
me,
The unperform'd, more gigantic than ever, advance, advance upon
me. 30

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: america, august, war, running, freedom, power, peace, sleep, world, people, sea, rose, dream

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 (Years Of The Modern by Walt Whitman )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Joseph Poewhit (12/19/2009 10:24:00 AM)

    I think Whitman would be surprised by his prophecy of a world growing small by the interconnections. That his poetry filtered into spaces around the world by the INTERNET. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

New Poems

  1. Fog, Cyrity W.L
  2. An ugly sniper, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  3. AAA, Vera Sidhwa
  4. my love to you is simple, James Berth
  5. Ebola, Stephen Wylie
  6. To the occupied lands' people, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  7. colorblind, James Berth
  8. Why Didn't They Meet?, Lora Colon
  9. Longing for Love, Brenda Harris
  10. closed shop, lee fones

Poem of the Day

poet Katharine Lee Bates

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  9. A child said, What is the grass?, Walt Whitman
  10. "Hope" is the thing with feathers, Emily Dickinson

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]