Friday, May 11, 2012

Poetry Friday -- O Me! O Life!

O Me! O Life!
By Walt Whitman

O Me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless--of cities fill'd with the
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish
          than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light--of the objects mean--
          of the struggle ever renew'd;
Of the poor results of all--of the plodding and sordid crowds
          I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest--with the rest
          me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring--What good amid these,
          O me, O life?


That you are here--that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute
          a verse.

*    *    *

Yes, that powerful play is going on, and we are careening hurtling rushing through these last days, through this last act, through this last verse of the song we've been singing since last August. Almost time for the curtains to close, for the conductor's baton to lower.

What tracks will we leave in these children's lives? On these children's hearts?

Irene has the Poetry Friday roundup today at Live Your Poem...


  1. (Those tracks look wolfy to me, so you know I love them!) Thanks for this taste of Whitman this morning, Mary Lee, and best wishes as you wind up these last wheeling days with a flourish!

  2. What tracks will we leave in these children's lives? On these children's hearts?

    Yes, indeed...this is always such a bittersweet time of year with our kiddos. I miss them already!

  3. Intriguing tracks in your photo. Good luck with winding up another year of good learning :)!

  4. Transitions and changes are hard and bittersweet. Thanks for sharing Whitman this morning.

  5. OK, I'm not a Whitman fan, but I read it anyway, just because it was you:>) And I was rewarded by your lovely thoughts on the poem afterward!

  6. I like Whitman in small bites . . . like this -- not in big wolfy bites. So thank you!

    And best to you as you wrap up another school year. I retired from that gig a few years ago, and though I don't miss the hububububububub of year end, I miss those sweet good-byes of 5th graders going off to middle school.


  7. What a beautiful school year ender indeed. I understand what you mean about hurtling, careening, rushing through the finish line, I can sense the stressed-out vibe everywhere! :) Beautiful choice. :)

  8. Best wishes for a fine ending, Mary Lee. It certainly is busy, isn't it? Love that "contribution of a verse".

  9. I agree with Jet; Whitman is best in small doses. I like your reminder about the tracks we're leaving.

  10. I'm with Ruth about the reminder of our tracks. We sure leave them whether we intend to or not... so why not be intentional? We. Are. Here. Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. We always leave more tracks than we know. Enjoy this verse.


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