I Hear America Singing

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I Hear America Singing
Walt Whitman, 1819 – 1892

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe
and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off
work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the
deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing
as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the
morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at
work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young
fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

 

This is my favorite poem about work. It’s Walt Whitman’s celebration of the working man. I think Whitman definitely had a thing for blue collar workers. To me, this is one of the most melodic of Whitman’s poems.

I wanted to do a poem about work because my first day went really well. Grant it, most of the day was settling into my new office and getting my ID, ordering business cards, and stuff like that. It was a mostly quiet day. There isn’t a lot I can do yet. The IT department has to switch over the computers to me, they are all still locked with my predecessor’s log ins. So far though things are going smoothly.

And for those who were wondering, I did get snow up here this weekend. It snowed a little Saturday and then off and on all day Sunday. It’s amazing to me to get snow in October.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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