I Sit And Look Out

A poem by Walt Whitman brings to our attention the oppression, ill-treatment, and cruelties that people inflict on each other. The narrator acknowledges the sufferings but does nothing to stop them.

I Sit and Look Out

I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all
oppression and shame,
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with
themselves, remorseful after deeds done,
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying,
neglected, gaunt, desperate,
I see the wife misused by her husband—I see the treacherous seducer
of young women,
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be
hid—I see these sights on the earth,
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny—I see martyrs and
I observe a famine at sea—I observe the sailors casting lots who
shall be kill’d, to preserve the lives of the rest,
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon
laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like,
All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look
out upon,
See, hear, and am silent.

Walt Whitman



All Rights Reserved – © 2020 – Jeff Lossau


One comment

  1. I can identify with the writer of this poem. We see the needs everyday, and sometimes they are even in our own lives. The needs can be so overwhelming one can instantly feel powerless, not knowing where to begin to help.

    It is such a cliche, but prayer does change things. I think many times God is just waiting, hoping, for someone, who knows him, and of what He can do, to invite him into the situation. I believe, and that leads me to sit and look up.


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