Whitman: ‘See, Hear, And Am Silent’


Walt Whitman

‘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.’