Walt Whitman Poems: Darest Thou Now O Soul

Written shortly after his service as a  nurse in the Civil War, then revised late in his life, Whitman’s musing on the unknown path reflects his looking ahead to walking it.

English: Photo of American poet Walt Whitman. ...

Whitman at About Fifty. Scanned from A Life of Walt Whitman by Henry Bryan Binns. Published by Methuen & Co., 1905. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Darest Thou Now O Soul


Darest thou now O soul,

Walk out with me toward the unknown region,

Where neither ground is for the feet nor any path to follow?


No map there, nor guide,

Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,

Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips nor eyes, are in that land.


I know it not O soul,

Nor dost thou, all is a blank before us,

All waits undream’d of in that region, that inaccessible land.


Till when the ties loosen,

All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,

Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds bounding us.


Then we burst forth, we float,

In Time and Space O soul, prepared for them,

Equal, equipt at last, (O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfill O soul.


1868  1881

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)


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Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers



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