Published Works

Books by Whitman

contents   |   previous   |   next

Page 126
View Page 126

Not Heaving from my Ribb'd Breast only.

NOT heaving from my ribb'd breast only;
Not in sighs at night, in rage, dissatisfied with myself;
Not in those long-drawn, ill-supprest sighs;
Not in many an oath and promise broken;
Not in my wilful and savage soul's volition;
Not in the subtle nourishment of the air;
Not in this beating and pounding at my temples and
         wrists;
Not in the curious systole and diastole within, which
         will one day cease;
Not in many a hungry wish, told to the skies only;
Not in cries, laughter, defiances, thrown from me when
         alone, far in the wilds;
Not in husky pantings through clench'd teeth;
Not in sounded and resounded words—chattering
         words, echoes, dead words;
Not in the murmurs of my dreams while I sleep,
Nor the other murmurs of these incredible dreams of
         every day;
Nor in the limbs and senses of my body, that take you
         and dismiss you continually—Not there;
Not in any or all of them, O adhesiveness! O pulse
         of my life!
Need I that you exist and show yourself, any more
         than in these songs.
contents   |   previous   |   next

Comments?

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.