April 11, 2008


This has always been one of my favorite passages in Song of Myself. Something about it is speaking to me today, so I thought I'd share it here. This sense of leaning toward the future and how that emphasizes the potentialities of the present, restless contradictions just part of the whole, and why am I trying to write tepid prose about it when you can just read the lines?

The past and present wilt--I have fill'd them, emptied them.
And proceed to fill my next fold of the future.

Listener up there! what have you to confide to me?
Look in my face while I snuff the sidle of evening,
(Talk honestly, no one else hears you, and I stay only a minute longer.)

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

I concentrate toward them that are nigh, I wait on the door-slab.

Who has done his day's work? who will soonest be through with his supper?
Who wishes to walk with me?

Will you speak before I am gone? will you prove already too late?

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