Exploring The Waste Land - Show supplementary text

Leaves of Grass
Book V, Calamus
These I Singing in Spring
Walt Whitman

These I, singing in spring, collect for lovers,
 (For who but I should understand lovers, and all their sorrow and joy?
  And who but I should be the poet of comrades?)
  Collecting, I traverse the garden, the world -- but soon I pass the gates,
  Now along the pond-side -- now wading in a little, fearing not the wet,
  Now by the post-and-rail fences, where the old stones thrown
    there, picked from the fields, have accumulated,
  Wild-flowers and vines and weeds come up through the stones,
    and partly cover them -- Beyond these I pass,
  Far, far in the forest, before I think where I get,
  Solitary, smelling the earthly smell, stopping now and then in the
  Alone I had thought -- yet soon a silent troop gathers around me,
  Some walk by my side, and some behind, and some embrace my
    arms or neck,
 They, the spirits of friends, dead or alive -- thicker they come, a
    great crowd, and I in the middle,
  Collecting, dispensing, singing in spring, there I wander with them,
  Plucking something for tokens -- something for these, till I hit upon
    a name -- tossing toward whoever is near me,
 Here! lilac, with a branch of pine,
 Here, out of my pocket, some moss which I pulled off a live-oak in
    Florida, as it hung trailing down,
 Here, some pinks and laurel leaves, and a handful of sage,
 And here what I now draw from the water, wading in the

(O here I last saw him that tenderly loves me -- and returns again,
    never to separate from me,
 And this, O this shall henceforth be the token of comrades -- this
    calamus-root shall,
 Interchange it, youths, with each other! Let none render it back!)
 And twigs of maple, and a bunch of wild orange, and chestnut,
 And stems of currants, and plum-blows, and the aromatic cedar;
 These I, compassed around by a thick cloud of spirits,
 Wandering, point to, or touch as I pass, or throw them loosely from
 Indicating to each what he shall have -- giving something to each,
 But what I threw from the water by the pond-side, that I reserve,
 I will give of it -- but only to them that love, as I myself am capable of loving.

Exploring The Waste Land - [Home] [E-mail] File date: Sunday, September 29, 2002