Life Poems - Poems For Life - As I Ebb'D With The Ocean Of Life

Poems about life. You can read the best life poems. Browse through all life poems.

As I Ebb'D With The Ocean Of Life - Poem by Walt Whitman

As I ebb'd with the ocean of life,
As I wended the shores I know,
As I walk'd where the ripples continually wash you Paumanok,
Where they rustle up hoarse and sibilant,
Where the fierce old mother endlessly cries for her castaways,
I musing late in the autumn day, gazing off southward,
Held by this electric self out of the pride of which I utter poems,
Was seiz'd by the spirit that trails in the lines underfoot,
The rim, the sediment that stands for all the water and all the
         land of the globe.

Fascinated, my eyes reverting from the south, dropt, to follow
      &nb sp; those slender windrows,
Chaff, straw, splinters of wood, weeds, and the sea-gluten,
Scum, scales from shining rocks, leaves of salt-lettuce, left by the
Miles walking, the sound of breaking waves the other side of me,
Paumanok there and then as I thought the old thought of likenesses,
These you presented to me you fish-shaped island,
As I wended the shores I know,
As I walk'd with that electric self seeking types.

As I wend to the shores I know not,
As I list to the dirge, the voices of men and women wreck'd,
As I inhale the impalpable breezes that set in upon me,
As the ocean so mysterious rolls toward me closer and closer,
I too but signify at the utmost a little wash'd-up drift,
A few sands and dead leaves to gather,
Gather, and merge myself as part of the sands and drift.

O baffled, balk'd, bent to the very earth,
Oppress'd with myself that I have dared to open my mouth,
Aware now that amid all that blab whose echoes recoil upon me I
       &n bsp;have not once had the least idea who or what I am,
But that before all my arrogant poems the real Me stands yet
         untouch'd, untold, altogether unreach'd,
Withdrawn far, mocking me with mock-congratulatory signs and
With peals of distant ironical laughter at every word I have written,
Pointing in silence to these songs, and then to the sand beneath.

I perceive I have not really understood any thing, not a single
      &nb sp; object, and that no man ever can,
Nature here in sight of the sea taking advantage of me to dart
        ; upon me and sting me,
Because I have dared to open my mouth to sing at all.

You oceans both, I close with you,
We murmur alike reproachfully rolling sands and drift, knowing
      &n bsp; not why,
These little shreds indeed standing for you and me and all.

You friable shore with trails of debris,
You fish-shaped island, I take what is underfoot,
What is yours is mine my father.

I too Paumanok,
I too have bubbled up, floated the measureless float, and been
        ; wash'd on your shores,
I too am but a trail of drift and debris,
I too leave little wrecks upon you, you fish-shaped island.

I throw myself upon your breast my father,
I cling to you so that you cannot unloose me,
I hold you so firm till you answer me something.

Kiss me my father,
Touch me with your lips as I touch those I love,
Breathe to me while I hold you close the secret of the murmuring
         I envy.

Ebb, ocean of life, (the flow will return,)
Cease not your moaning you fierce old mother,
Endlessly cry for your castaways, but fear not, deny not me,
Rustle not up so hoarse and angry against my feet as I touch you
         or gather from you.

I mean tenderly by you and all,
I gather for myself and for this phantom looking down where we
       & nbsp;lead, and following me and mine.
Me and mine, loose windrows, little corpses,
Froth, snowy white, and bubbles,
(See, from my dead lips the ooze exuding at last,
See, the prismatic colors glistening and rolling,)
Tufts of straw, sands, fragments,
Buoy'd hither from many moods, one contradicting another,
From the storm, the long calm, the darkness, the swell,
Musing, pondering, a breath, a briny tear, a dab of liquid or soil,
Up just as much out of fathomless workings fermented and thrown,
A limp blossom or two, torn, just as much over waves floating,
         drifted at random,
Just as much for us that sobbing dirge of Nature,
Just as much whence we come that blare of the cloud-trumpets,
We, capricious, brought hither we know not whence, spread out
         before you,
You up there walking or sitting,
Whoever you are, we too lie in drifts at your feet.

Comments about As I Ebb'D With The Ocean Of Life by Walt Whitman

  • Rookie Joel Peckham (4/24/2006 6:30:00 PM)

    This is one of Whitman's greatest shorter poems. It is one of his most modern works and is a poem continuously referenced as an influence by contemporary poets as diverse as Galway Kinnel and Frank Bidart. Rarely do we see Whitman in such a state of profound doubt and psychological struggle. It also teaches very well. Balancing it with the ending of Song of Myself shows just how far this poet has traveled away from the bluster of that work in just a few short years. His own felt-rejection from the literary community and the brutal realities of the civil war are clearly playing upon his mind here. Powerful stuff. (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »

Poems About Life

  1. 1. A Psalm Of Life , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  2. 2. Life , Charlotte Brontë
  3. 3. Life In A Love , Robert Browning
  4. 4. O Me! O Life! , Walt Whitman
  5. 5. The Pleasures Of Ordinary Life , Judith Viorst
  6. 6. What Is Life? , John Clare
  7. 7. Life And Art , Emma Lazarus
  8. 8. New Love, New Life , Amy Levy
  9. 9. My Life Closed Twice , Emily Dickinson
  10. 10. Ignorant Before The Heavens Of My Life , Rainer Maria Rilke
  11. 11. The Life Of Man , Sir Francis Bacon
  12. 12. The Buried Life , Matthew Arnold
  13. 13. Love In A Life , Robert Browning
  14. 14. Human Life , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  15. 15. Life In A Bottle , Robert Browning
  16. 16. Life Life Life Life Life Life Life Life .. , Abdul Wahab
  17. 17. Full Of Life, Now , Walt Whitman
  18. 18. River Of Life, The , Thomas Campbell
  19. 19. An Image From A Past Life , William Butler Yeats
  20. 20. How Life Is For Life (Tanka) , Muzahidul Reza
  21. 21. Life Is What Life Is , Edward Veilleux
  22. 22. Life , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  23. 23. The Course Of Life, Time, And Events And.. , Merlin Archivilla
  24. 24. What Is Life? , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  25. 25. Too Much Of A Good Thing (Life Life Li.. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  26. 26. Life (The Real Meaning Of Life) , C.N.Premkumar (love poems, V ..
  27. 27. Life Is Love, And Love Is Life , Anna Jonson
  28. 28. The Lords Of Life , Ralph Waldo Emerson
  29. 29. Each Life Converges To Some Centre , Emily Dickinson
  30. 30. Xxxvi Life-In-Love , Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  31. 31. In The Morning Of Life , Thomas Moore
  32. 32. A Life Went Wrong.......The Denial Of Life , saadat tahir
  33. 33. A Life Of Death, Or The Death Of Life , Andre Veilleux
  34. 34. (c) 1 (Life/Philosophy) Life Is.... , Renu Rakheja a.k.a Tranquil ..
  35. 35. The Treasure Of Life , Olive Walters
  36. 36. Life Beyond, The , Rupert Brooke
  37. 37. An Adventure In The Life Of King James V.. , William Topaz McGonagall
  38. 38. My Life Had Stood , Emily Dickinson
  39. 39. Views Of Life , Anne Brontë
  40. 40. Modern Love Iv: All Other Joys Of Life , George Meredith
  41. 41. Life Goes On , Elizabeth Quinn
  42. 42. Ploughman's Life, The , Robert Burns
  43. 43. The Country Life: , Robert Herrick
  44. 44. The Life Beyond , Rupert Brooke
  45. 45. Choice? (Life Life Life Life Life) , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  46. 46. Life Is The Body's Light , Robert Herrick
  47. 47. They May Rail At This Life , Thomas Moore
  48. 48. End To Life And Life To Come , Cassandra Reiman
  49. 49. Weave In, Weave In, My Hardy Life , Walt Whitman
  50. 50. Life Is Just Like Life , Rahman Henry
[Report Error]