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Walt Whitman - You Felons on Trial in Courts.

YOU felons on trial in courts; 
You convicts in prison-cells—you sentenced assassins, chain’d and
    hand-cuff’d
	with
	iron; 
Who am I, too, that I am not on trial, or in prison? 
Me, ruthless and devilish as any, that my wrists are not chain’d with iron, or my
    ankles
	with
	iron? 
  
You prostitutes flaunting over the trottoirs, or obscene in your rooms,
Who am I, that I should call you more obscene than myself? 
  
O culpable! 
I acknowledge—I exposé! 
(O admirers! praise not me! compliment not me! you make me wince, 
I see what you do not—I know what you do not.)
  
Inside these breast-bones I lie smutch’d and choked; 
Beneath this face that appears so impassive, hell’s tides continually run; 
Lusts and wickedness are acceptable to me; 
I walk with delinquents with passionate love; 
I feel I am of them—I belong to those convicts and prostitutes myself,
And henceforth I will not deny them—for how can I deny myself?

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Added: Feb 7 2004 | Viewed: 5536 times | Comments and analysis of You Felons on Trial in Courts. by Walt Whitman Comments (23)

You Felons on Trial in Courts. - Comments and Information

Poet: Walt Whitman
Poem: 3. You Felons on Trial in Courts.
Volume: Leaves of Grass
- 7. Leaves of Grass
Year: Published/Written in 1900

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