Guest poem submitted by David Wright
(Poem #1042) I Sit and Look Out
I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all oppression and shame; I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with themselves, remorseful after deeds done; I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt, desperate; I see the wife misused by her husband--I see the treacherous seducer of young women; I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be hid--I see these sights on the earth; I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny--I see martyrs and prisoners; I observe a famine at sea--I observe the sailors casting lots who shall be kill'd, to preserve the lives of the rest; I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like; All these--All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon, See, hear, and am silent.
(from 'Leaves of Grass', 1900) Monday's Yeats poem [Poem #1040] reminded me so much of this Walt Whitman verse, I had to share it. Whitman looks at the world's load of woe, and is silent. Of course he is not silent. His watching is witnessing, and what he sees he says. For a poet this is enough, more than enough. Although his words are far from objective, to overtly comment, to share his opinion would reduce the enormity of what he describes. Whitman as witness. - David