Walt Whitman

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

By The Bivouac's Fitful Flame

Poem by Walt Whitman

BY the bivouac's fitful flame,
A procession winding around me, solemn and sweet and slow;--but first
I note,
The tents of the sleeping army, the fields' and woods' dim outline,
The darkness, lit by spots of kindled fire--the silence;
Like a phantom far or near an occasional figure moving;
The shrubs and trees, (as I lift my eyes they seem to be stealthily
watching me;)
While wind in procession thoughts, O tender and wondrous thoughts,
Of life and death--of home and the past and loved, and of those that
are far away;
A solemn and slow procession there as I sit on the ground,
By the bivouac's fitful flame. 10

Comments about By The Bivouac's Fitful Flame by Walt Whitman

  • Ruta MohapatraRuta Mohapatra (4/18/2018 9:47:00 AM)

    ' While wind in procession........are far away'.....Those are the thoughts that have occupied peoples mind in all ages.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Jane Moon (5/14/2009 12:36:00 PM)

    Lyrically written, Whitman reflects on the continuing procession of bivouac and ongoing war.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Robert Howard (11/2/2006 9:56:00 AM)

    This is a solemn and compact reflection on a evening between the fury of one battle and the next. The scene is beautifully set and the reflection is profound.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 3 comments »

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?

Read poems about / on: silence, fire, home, wind, death, life, sleep, tree

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

[Report Error]