Spontaneous Me

Walt Whitman

 
Spontaneous me, Nature,   
The loving day, the mounting sun, the friend I am happy with,   
The arm of my friend hanging idly over my shoulder,   
The hill-side whiten’d with blossoms of the mountain ash,   
The same, late in autumn—the hues of red, yellow, drab, purple, and light and dark green,
The rich coverlid of the grass—animals and birds—the private untrimm’d bank—
     the primitive apples—the pebble-stones,   
Beautiful dripping fragments—the negligent list of one after another, as I happen to call
     them to me, or think of them,   
The real poems, (what we call poems being merely pictures,)   
The poems of the privacy of the night, and of men like me,   
This poem, drooping shy and unseen, that I always carry, and that all men carry,
(Know, once for all, avow’d on purpose, wherever are men like me, are our lusty, lurking,
     masculine poems;)   
Love-thoughts, love-juice, love-odor, love-yielding, love-climbers, and the climbing sap,   
Arms and hands of love—lips of love—phallic thumb of love—breasts of
     love—bellies press’d and glued together with love,   
Earth of chaste love—life that is only life after love,   
The body of my love—the body of the woman I love—the body of the man—the body of
     the earth,
Soft forenoon airs that blow from the south-west,   
The hairy wild-bee that murmurs and hankers up and down—that gripes the full-grown
     lady-flower, curves upon her with amorous firm legs, takes his will of her, and holds himself
     tremulous and tight till he is satisfied,   
The wet of woods through the early hours,   
Two sleepers at night lying close together as they sleep, one with an arm slanting down across
     and below the waist of the other,   
The smell of apples, aromas from crush’d sage-plant, mint, birch-bark,
The boy’s longings, the glow and pressure as he confides to me what he was dreaming,   
The dead leaf whirling its spiral whirl, and falling still and content to the ground,   
The no-form’d stings that sights, people, objects, sting me with,   
The hubb’d sting of myself, stinging me as much as it ever can any one,   
The sensitive, orbic, underlapp’d brothers, that only privileged feelers may be intimate where
they are,
The curious roamer, the hand, roaming all over the body—the bashful withdrawing of flesh
     where the fingers soothingly pause and edge themselves,   
The limpid liquid within the young man,   
The vexed corrosion, so pensive and so painful,   
The torment—the irritable tide that will not be at rest,   
The like of the same I feel—the like of the same in others,
The young man that flushes and flushes, and the young woman that flushes and flushes,   
The young man that wakes, deep at night, the hot hand seeking to repress what would master
     him; The mystic amorous night—the strange half-welcome pangs, visions, sweats,   
The pulse pounding through palms and trembling encircling fingers—the young man all color’d,
     red, ashamed, angry;   
The souse upon me of my lover the sea, as I lie willing and naked,
The merriment of the twin-babes that crawl over the grass in the sun, the mother never turning
     her vigilant eyes from them,   
The walnut-trunk, the walnut-husks, and the ripening or ripen’d long-round walnuts;   
The continence of vegetables, birds, animals,   
The consequent meanness of me should I skulk or find myself indecent, while birds and animals
     never once skulk or find themselves indecent;   
The great chastity of paternity, to match the great chastity of maternity,
The oath of procreation I have sworn—my Adamic and fresh daughters,   
The greed that eats me day and night with hungry gnaw, till I saturate what shall produce boys to
     fill my place when I am through,   
The wholesome relief, repose, content;   
And this bunch, pluck’d at random from myself;   
It has done its work—I tossed it carelessly to fall where it may.
 

Poems by This Author

A child said, What is the grass? by Walt Whitman
A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
A Clear Midnight by Walt Whitman
This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
A Noiseless Patient Spider by Walt Whitman
A noiseless patient spider
A Woman Waits for Me by Walt Whitman
A woman waits for me, she contains all, nothing is lacking,
America by Walt Whitman
Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
Among the Multitude by Walt Whitman
Among the men and women, the multitude
As I Walk These Broad Majestic Days by Walt Whitman
As I walk these broad majestic days of peace
Calamus [In Paths Untrodden] by Walt Whitman
In paths untrodden
Come Up From the Fields Father by Walt Whitman
Come up from the fields father, here's a letter from our Pete,
Come, said my Soul by Walt Whitman
Come, said my Soul
Continuities by Walt Whitman
Nothing is ever really lost, or can be lost
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman
Flood-tide below me! I watch you face to face
Delicate Cluster by Walt Whitman
Delicate cluster! flag of teeming life
Election Day, November, 1884 by Walt Whitman
If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show
Excelsior by Walt Whitman
Who has gone farthest? for I would go farther,
I Hear America Singing by Walt Whitman
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
I Sing the Body Electric by Walt Whitman
I sing the body electric,
Mannahatta by Walt Whitman
I was asking for something specific and perfect for my city
Miracles by Walt Whitman
Why, who makes much of a miracle
O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The
O Me! O Life! by Walt Whitman
On the Beach at Night Alone by Walt Whitman
On the beach at night alone
Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking by Walt Whitman
Out of the cradle endlessly rocking,
Out of the Rolling Ocean, the Crowd by Walt Whitman
Out of the rolling ocean, the crowd, came a drop gently to me
Passage to India by Walt Whitman
Singing my days
So Long by Walt Whitman
To conclude—I announce what comes after me
Sometimes with One I Love by Walt Whitman
Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I
Song of Myself, I, II, VI & LII by Walt Whitman
I celebrate myself,
Song of Myself, III by Walt Whitman
I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end
Song of Myself, X by Walt Whitman
Alone far in the wilds and mountains I hunt,
Song of Myself, XI by Walt Whitman
Twenty-eight young men bathe by the shore
Spirit that Form'd this Scene by Walt Whitman
Spirit that form'd this scene,
The Indications [excerpt] by Walt Whitman
The words of the true poems give you more than poems
The Sleepers by Walt Whitman
I wander all night in my vision
The Untold Want by Walt Whitman
The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted
The Wound-Dresser by Walt Whitman
An old man bending I come among new faces
This Compost by Walt Whitman
Something startles me where I thought I was safest
Thoughts by Walt Whitman
OF the visages of things—And of piercing through
To a Locomotive in Winter by Walt Whitman
Thee for my recitative!
To Think of Time by Walt Whitman
To think of time—of all that retrospection
To You by Walt Whitman
Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams,
Unfolded Out of the Folds by Walt Whitman
Unfolded out of the folds of the woman, man comes unfolded, and is always to come unfolded
Washington's Monument, February, 1885 by Walt Whitman
Ah, not this marble, dead and cold
When I Heard at the Close of Day by Walt Whitman
When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv'd
When I Heard the Learned Astronomer by Walt Whitman
When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom'd by Walt Whitman
When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom'd
Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand by Walt Whitman
Whoever you are, holding me now in hand
World Below the Brine by Walt Whitman
The world below the brine


Further Reading

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