Walking with Walt Whitman – Leaves of Grass – Inscriptions – As I Ponder’d in Silence

Walt_Whitman,_cropped 1Walking with Walt Whitman
A daily installment from Leaves of Grass.

~ ❦ ~

Inscriptions

As I Ponder’d in Silence

As I ponder’d in silence,
Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long,
A Phantom arose before me with distrustful aspect,
Terrible in beauty, age, and power,
The genius of poets of old lands,
As to me directing like flame its eyes,
With finger pointing to many immortal songs,
And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said,
Know’st thou not there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards?
And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles,
The making of perfect soldiers.

Be it so, then I answer’d,
I too haughty Shade also sing war, and a longer and greater one than any,
Waged in my book with varying fortune, with flight, advance and retreat,          victory deferr’d and wavering,
(Yet methinks certain, or as good as certain, at the last,) the field the world,
For life and death, for the Body and for the eternal Soul,
Lo, I too am come, chanting the chant of battles,
I above all promote brave soldiers.

~ ❦ ~

Leaves of Grass – Wikisource
Image – Walt Whitman, age 35, from the frontispiece to Leaves of Grass,
Fulton St., Brooklyn, N.Y., steel engraving by Samuel Hollyer from a lost daguerreotype by Gabriel Harrison (my frame) ~ Wikipedia

This entry was posted in Leaves of Grass, poem, Poetry, Walt Whitman and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Walking with Walt Whitman – Leaves of Grass – Inscriptions – As I Ponder’d in Silence

  1. wordcloud9 says:

    I much prefer Whitman’s field of battle – it’s a war we all must fight, but at least we get to choose our cause and our weapons

  2. The imagery of war and battle …. that got me musing. …

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