Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 3. THESE POPULATIONS, by EDWARD CARPENTER



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TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 3. THESE POPULATIONS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: These populations
Last Line: The true the human society!
Subject(s): Democracy; Equality; Human Rights; Public Opinion


THESE populations—
So puny, white-faced, machine made,
Turned out of factories, out of offices, out of drawing-rooms, by thousands
all alike—
Huddled, stitched up, in clothes, fearing a chill, a drop of rain, looking
timidly at the sea and sky as at strange monsters, or running back so quick to
their suburban runs and burrows,
Dapper, libidinous, cute, with washed-out small eyes—
What are these?
Are they men and women?
Each denying himself, hiding himself?
Are they men and women?
So timorous, like hares—a breath of propriety or custom, a draught of
wind, the mere threat of pain or of danger?

O for a breath of the sea and the great mountains!
A bronzed hardy live man walking his way through it all;
Thousands of men companioning the waves and the storms, splendid in health,
naked-breasted, catching the lion with their hands;
A thousand women swift-footed and free—owners of themselves, forgetful
of themselves, in all their actions—full of joy and laughter and action;
Garbed not so differently from the hen, joining with them in their games
and sports, sharing also their labors;
Free to hold their own, to grant or withhold their love, the same as the
men;
Strong, well-equipped in muscle and skill, clear of finesse and
affectation—
(The men, too, clear of much brutality and conceit)—
Comrades together, equal in intelligence and adventure,
Trusting without concealment, loving without shame but with discrimination
and continence towards a perfect passion.

O for a breath of the sea!
The necessity and directness of the great elements themselves!
Swimming the rivers, braving the sun, the cold, taming the animals and the
earth, conquering the air with wings, and each other with love—
The true the human society!





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