Wednesday 10 April 2013

Day 282: O Me! O Life!


What is the  point of life anyway? What's it all about? And what part do I have in it, little  old me?

Surely, a fundamental of all poems. But none of them provide an answer to these questions quite as directly and powerfully as this one from America's wisest bard, Walt Whitman. 

(And if you've heard this before - most likely it was from the film Dead Poets Society, when Robin Williams, as the English teacher Mr Keating, reads it in class like a hushed secret being told. A secret that once known, can't be easily forgotten.)

O Me! O Life! - Walt Whitman

Oh me! Oh 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 faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
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 may contribute a verse.

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