Monday, October 8, 2012

Poem of Perfect Miracles

REALISM is mine, my miracles,
Take all of the rest—take freely—I keep
         but my own—I give only of them, 
I offer them without end—I offer them to you
         wherever your feet can carry you, or your
         eyes reach. 

Why! who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward
         the sky, 
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in
         the edge of the water, 
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love—or sleep in
         the bed at night with any one I love, 
Or sit at the table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of an
         August forenoon, 
Or animals feeding in the fields,

Or birds—or the wonderfulness of insects in the

Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down—or of
         stars shining so quiet and bright, 
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new-
         moon in May, 
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that
         like me best—mechanics, boatmen, farmers, 
Or among the savans—or to the soiree—or to
         the opera, 
Or stand a long while looking at the movements
         of machinery, 
Or behold children at their sports,
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or
         the perfect old woman, 
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass,
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me
The whole referring—yet each distinct and in its

To me, every hour of the light and dark is a
Every inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is
         spread with the same, 

Every cubic foot of the interior swarms with the
Every spear of grass—the frames, limbs, organs,
         of men and women, and all that concerns
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.

To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion
         of the waves—the ships, with men in them
         —what stranger miracles are there? 

-- Walt Whitman, 24 — Poem of Perfect Miracles, Leaves of Grass
The Walt Whitman Archive

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