Poetic Spotlight: O Me! O Life!

Walt Whitman, image care of Wikimedia Commons.

Well, this week’s certainly been an eventful one. In case you hadn’t heard, on Monday I joined the fine folks at dVerse Poetry Pub with a new segment called “Pretzels and Bullfights” – if you’re having a little trouble with the name, just think of Hemingway and all will make sense again. It is, essentially, what I’ve already been doing here for several weeks on Thursdays – Poets and Poems of the week. Good stuff, with what I hope will be a lot of involvement from you, that wonderful poetic community.

But does that mean I’ll stop posting that poetic dose of goodness here? No, sir. Every Thursday, the Waking Den will still play host to a weekly poem, though the readers at dVerse will certainly find them familiar. I’ll be reposting the work here each week, for all those that didn’t catch it the first time around, or for any of you that would enjoy a second chance at the read – or any discussions following.

So without further adieu, I give to you this week’s lesson in poetry, in the form of “O Me! O Life!” by classic American poet 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 foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more
Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever
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.”
~Walt Whitman

3 thoughts on “Poetic Spotlight: O Me! O Life!

  1. Like the name Pretzels and bullfights, just don’t take anything by the horn, that might hurt…haha…liked the poem you chose too, I know I read it somewhere before, but was a great refresher.

  2. “When you love a man, he becomes more than a body. His physical limbs expand, and his outline recedes, vanishes. He is rich and sweet and right. He is part of the world, the atmosphere, the blue sky and the blue water.” ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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