Walt Whitman: “To be indeed a God!”

O to attract by more than attraction!

How it is I know not—yet behold! the something which

     obeys none of the rest,

It is offensive, never defensive—yet how magnetic it draws.

 

O to struggle against great odds, to meet enemies

     undaunted!

To be entirely alone with them, to find how much one can

     stand!

To look strife, torture, prison, popular odium, face to face!

To mount the scaffold, to advance to the muzzles of guns

     with perfect nonchalance!

To be indeed a God!

 

O to sail to sea in a ship!

To leave this steady unendurable land,

To leave the tiresome sameness of the streets, the sidewalks

     and the houses,

To leave you O solid motionless land, and entering a

     ship,

To sail and sail and sail!

Excerpted from “A Song of Joys”, by Walt Whitman, lines 147-159.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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3 Responses to Walt Whitman: “To be indeed a God!”

  1. iheartfilm says:

    Always a good one. Nice blog, by the way.

    Chris

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