Walt Whitman in the Civil War Hospitals [Poem]

James SchminckeUncategorized

— David Ignatow, 1970

Prescient, my hands soothing
their foreheads, by my love
I earn them. in their presence
I am wretched as death. They smile
to me of love. They cheer me
and I smile. These are stones
in the catapulting world;
they fly, bury themselves in flesh,
in a wall, in earth; in midair
break against each other
and are without sound.
I sent them catapulting.
They outflew my voice
towards vacant spaces,
but I have called them farther,
to the stillness beyond,
to death which I have praised.

Collected from PoemHunter | Link to Source