Sunday, March 27, 2011

From: Poem of You, Whoever You Are

You have not known what you are—you have
         slumbered upon yourself all your life,
Your eye-lids have been as much as closed most
         of the time,
What you have done returns already in mock-
Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not
         return in mockeries, what is their return?

The mockeries are not you,
Underneath them, and within them, I see you lurk,
I pursue you where none else has pursued you,
Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the
         night, the accustomed routine, if these con-
         ceal you from others, or from yourself, they
         do not conceal you from me,
The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure
         complexion, if these balk others, they do
         not balk me,
The pert apparel, the deformed attitude, drunken-
         ness, greed, premature death, all these I part
I track through your windings and turnings—I
         come upon you where you thought eye should
         never come upon you.

-- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

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