Poetry on the Sun
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Peter Y. Chou

O Sun of Real Peace (1860)

O sun of real peace! O hastening light!
O free and extatic! O what I here, preparing, warble for!
O the sun of the world will ascend, dazzling, and take his height—
    and you too, O my Ideal, will surely ascend!
O so amazing and broad— up there resplendent, darting and burning!
O vision prophetic, stagger'd with weight of light! with pouring glories!
O lips of my soul, already becoming powerless!
O ample and grand Presidentiads! Now the war, the war is over!
New history! new heroes! I project you!
Visions of poets! only you really last! sweep on! sweep on!
O heights too swift and dizzy yet!
O purged and luminous! you threaten me more than I can stand!
(I must not venture— the ground under my feet menaces me—
    it will not support me:
O future too immense,)— O present, I return, while yet I may, to you.

Leaves if Grass (1860), (Online Text)


Sun citation in "Song of Myself" (1855)

The feeling of health... the full-noon trill... the song of me
    rising from bed and meeting the sun. (21)

You shall possess th good of the earth and sun...
    there are millions of suns left, (26)

The sun falls on his crispy hair and moustache... falls on the black
    of his polish'd and perfect limbs. (223)

The suns I see and the suns I cannot see are in their place. (351)

Sun so generous it shall be you, (539)

We also ascend dazzling and tremendous as the sun, (564)

Where the sundown shadows lengthen over the limitless
    and lonesome prairie, (759)

Flaunt of the sunshine I need not you bask... lie over, (984)
You light surfaces only... I force the surfaces and the depths also. (985)

Waiting responses from oracles... honoring the gods... saluting the sun, (1096)

My sun has his sun, and round him obediently wheels (1186)
He joins with his partners a group of superior circuit, (1187)
And greater sets follow, making specks of the greatest inside them. (1188)

I hear you whispering there O stars of heaven, (1290)
O suns... O grass of graves... O perpetual transfers and promotions
    ... if you do not say anything how can I say anything? (1291)

And perceive of the ghastly glitter the sunbeams reflected, (1297)

I depart as air... I shake my white locks at the runaway sun, (1327)

Leaves if Grass (1855), (Online Text)
    Line #s in parenthesis from Walt Whitman: Selected Poems 1855-1892
    (Edited by Gary Schmidgall, 1999)

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email: (2-12-2009)