City Of Ships Poem by Walt Whitman

City Of Ships

Rating: 3.0

City of ships!
(O the black ships! O the fierce ships!
O the beautiful sharp-bow'd steam-ships and sail-ships!)
City of the world! (for all races are here,
All the lands of the earth make contributions here ;)
City of the sea! city of hurried and glittering tides!
City whose gleeful tides continually rush or recede, whirling in and out with eddies and foam!
City of wharves and stores—city of tall facades of marble and iron!
Proud and passionate city—mettlesome, mad, extravagant city!
Spring up O city—not for peace alone, but be indeed yourself, warlike!
Fear not—submit to no models but your own O city!
Behold me—incarnate me as I have incarnated you!
I have rejected nothing you offer'd me—whom you adopted I have adopted,
Good or bad I never question you—I love all—I do not condemn any thing,
I chant and celebrate all that is yours—yet peace no more,
In peace I chanted peace, but now the drum of war is mine,
War, red war is my song through your streets, O city!

City Of Ships
Kristine Petersen 02 December 2005

I have no idea what city for sure he is talking about. He might be talking about New York. He is trying to encourage a city's patriotism for the Civil War.

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Stephen Cummins 02 December 2005

i dont think Whitman is talking about a certain city in general but how all people feel of their hometown, where they grew and hope to live their life, to protect and care for, and preserve for ever

1 3 Reply
Castellenas John 01 April 2019

Powerful words and thoughts shared by the great writer.

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Riquetta Elliott 08 October 2007

Or possibly he is writing his feeling about his city.

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Riquetta Elliott 08 October 2007

I agree with Briana beacuse maybe he's talking about the Civil War or he is just writing about the city that he is feeling.

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Kyle Miller 08 December 2005

This poem comes across to me as a man that has grew up in a peaceful city but now the city has turned and he must attempt to restore it.

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Briana Russo 02 December 2005

Perhaps kristine, he isn't talking about a specific city, maybe the 'City of the world..' or perhaps America if he is talking about the Civil War. Or maybe he is just writing about a city in a general sense of the feeling of a city.

1 3 Reply
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

New York / United States
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