Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GIVE ME THE SPLENDID SILENT SUN, by WALT WHITMAN



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GIVE ME THE SPLENDID SILENT SUN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling
Last Line: Manhattan faces and eyes forever for me.
Subject(s): New York City; Sun; Manhattan; New York, New York; The Big Apple


GIVE me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling,
Give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard,
Give me a field where the unmowed grass grows,
Give me an arbor, give me the trellised grape,
Give me fresh corn and wheat, give me serene-moving animals
teaching content,
Give me nights perfectly quiet as on high plateaus west of
the Mississippi, and I looking up at the stars,
Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers
where I can walk undisturbed,
Give me for marriage a sweet-breathed woman of whom I
should never tire,
Give me a perfect child, give me, away aside from the noise
of the world, a rural domestic life,
Give me to warble spontaneous songs recluse by myself, for
my own ears only,
Give me solitude, give me Nature, give me again O Nature
your primal sanities!

These demanding to have them, (tired with ceaseless
excitement, and racked by the war-strife)
These to procure incessantly asking, rising in cries from my heart,
While yet incessantly asking still I adhere to my city,
Day upon day and year upon year, O city, walking your streets,
Where you hold me enchained a certain time refusing to give me up,
Yet giving to make me glutted, enriched of soul, you give
me forever faces;
(O I see what I sought to escape, confronting, reversing my cries,
I see my own soul trampling down what it asked for.)

Keep your splendid silent sun,
Keep your woods, O Nature, and the quiet places by the woods,
Keep your fields of clover and timothy, and your
corn-fields and orchards,
Keep the blossoming buckwheat fields where the Nith-month bees hum;
Give me faces and streets -- give me these phantoms
incessant and endless along the trottoirs!
Give me interminable eyes -- give me women -- give me
comrades and lovers by the thousand!
Let me see new ones every day -- let me hold new ones by
the hand every day!
Give me such shows -- give me the streets of Manhattan!
Give me Broadway, with the soldiers marching -- give me the
sound of the trumpets and drums!
(The soldiers in companies or regiments -- some starting
away flushed and reckless,
Some, their time up, returning with thinned ranks, young,
yet very old, worn, marching, noticing nothing;)
Give me the shores and wharves heavy-fringed with black ships!
O such for me! O an intense life, full to repletion and varied!
The life of the theatre, bar-room, huge hotel, for me!
The saloon of the steamer! The crowded excursion for me!
The torchlight procession!
The dense brigade bound for the war, with high-piled
military wagons following;
People, endless, streaming, with strong voices, passions, pageants,
Manhattan streets with their powerful throbs, with beating
drums as now,
The endless and noisy chorus, the rustle and clank of
muskets (even the sight of the wounded),
Manhattan crowds, with their turbulent musical chorus!
Manhattan faces and eyes forever for me.






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