Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OUT FROM BEHIND THIS MASK, by WALT WHITMAN



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OUT FROM BEHIND THIS MASK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Out from behind this bending, rough-cut mask
Last Line: Then travel, travel on.
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Whitman, Walt (1819-1891); Writing & Writers


OUT from behind this bending, rough-cut mask,
These lights and shades, this drama of the whole,
This common curtain of the face, contained in me
for me, in you for you, in each for each.
(Tragedies, sorrows, laughter, tears -- O heaven!
The passionate teeming plays this curtain hid!)
This glaze of God's serenest, purest sky,
This film of Satan's seething pit,
This heart's geography's map, this limitless small
continent, this soundless sea;
Out from the convolutions of this globe,
This subtler astronomic orb than sun or moon,
than Jupiter, Venus, Mars,
This condensation of the universe (nay, here the
only universe,
Here the idea, all in this mystic handful wrapt);
These burned eyes, flashing to you, to pass to
future time,
To launch and spin through space, revolving,
sideling, from these to emanate
To you -- whoe'er you are -- a look.
A traveller of thoughts and years, of peace and
war,
Of youth long sped and middling age declining
(As the first volume of a tale perused and laid
away and this the second,
Songs, ventures, speculations, presently to close),
Lingering a moment here and now, to you I op-
posite turn,
As on the road, or at some crevice door by chance,
or opened window,
Pausing, inclining, baring my head, yon specially
I greet,
To draw and clinch your soul for once insepara-
bly with mine,
Then travel, travel on.




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