Walt Whitman

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

Ah Poverties, Wincings Sulky Retreats - Poem by Walt Whitman


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.


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Read poems about / on: soldier, war, life, passion, smart



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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