Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Charged with untold and untellable wisdom

Gilroy, CA


Of the Terrible Doubt of Appearances

Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
Of the uncertainty after all, that we may be deluded,
That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable 
     only,
May-be the things I perceive, the animals, plants, men, hills, 
     shining and flowing waters,
The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms, may-be
     these are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions, and
     the real something has yet to be known,
(How often they dart out of themselves as if to confound me
     and mock me!
How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows, 
     aught of them,)
May-be seeming to me what they are (as doubtless they
     indeed but seem) as from my present point of view, and
     might prove (as of course they would) nought of what 
     they appear, or nought anyhow, from entirely changed
     points of view;
To me these and the like of these are curiously answer'd by
     my lovers, my dear friends,
When he whom I love travels with me or sits a long while
     holding me by the hand,
When the subtle air, the impalpable, the sense that words and
     reason hold not, surround us and pervade us,
Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom, I am
     silent, I require nothing further,
I cannot answer the question of appearances or that of 
     identity beyond the grave,
But I walk or sit indifferent, I am satisfied,
He ahold of my hand has completely satisfied me. 


Walt Whitman

3 comments:

  1. That poem is very...comforting.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow.

    thank you for sharing this, Elizabeth. That man really was holy.

    This poem was the perfect thing for me today.

    I hope you are well and happy.

    ReplyDelete

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