Poems



Do Make it Better (1)

Like to a ship that storms urge on its course,/ By its own trials our soul is surer made./ The very things that make the voyage worse/ Do make it better; its peril is its aid./ And, as the storm driv...

Stages (2)

As every flower fades and as all youth/ Departs, so life at every stage,/ So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,/ Blooms in its day and may not last forever./ Since life may summon us at every age/ ...
The Glass Bead Game

Each Life Converges to Some Centre (3)

Each life converges to some centre / Expressed or still; / Exists in every human nature / A goal, / / Admitted scarcely to itself, it may be,/ Too fair / For credibility’s temerity / To dare. / /...
The Complete Poems

To You (4)

Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of/ dreams,/ I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your / feet and hands,/ Even now your features, joys, speech, house, trade,...
Leaves of Grass

Oh Me! Oh Life! (5)

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, a...
Leaves of Grass

All I Have Is a Voice (6)

I sit in one of the dives/ On Fifty-second Street/ Uncertain and afraid/ As the clever hopes expire/ Of a low dishonest decade:/ Waves of anger and fear/ Circulate over the bright/ And darkened lands...
Another Time

The Sense of Life (7)

If that apparent part of life's delight/ Our tingled flesh-sense circumscribes were seen/ By aught save reflex and co-carnal sight,/ Joy, flesh and life might prove but a gross screen./ Haply Truth's...


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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays