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
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt,
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 prisoners;
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,
negroes, and the like;
All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon,
See, hear, and am silent.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Walt Whitman's poem I Sit and Look Out.


  1. lekshmi says:

    walt whitman,the first authentic voice in american poetry

    here creates an image of the degenerating modern worl.here mothers are misused by their children,wives are misused by their husbands,etc. i feel fear whether there will be a transformation for the present agonised world…thank you whitman you,through the poem makes us all remember that..that you have done…you cannot say”I SITTING,LOOK OUT UPON,SEE,HEAR,AND AM SILENT”

  2. SHANIQUA says:

    dIiizEzzz P03m Issz ddAa beSStezz…itTt mazkes z0 mch SSennsA ta MeeeE. lIIfe is AA giffT and sooO~ manyY babi giRlsz is gEttN misUsEDD by/Y DeeYE manNNn; wEhn I wErrE FourTEEn i g0t mzUUSedd by a dudDE and had MIIi fRst twIns…L0V3 D3m Th0!n0w I iZ 17, a M00thA of 5, and TruLeyy BlessEDD andD snGLe ~~~

  3. talitha says:

    the poem tells us of what is happening in and around the world.tells us of its beauty and same time reminds us of how the world today is changing.!!

  4. Anjani says:

    i am surprised to read this poem. as the poet in this poem is rasing the problems that are existing even today. even today we all are the silent bearer as then he was.we all are just waiting for some miracle to happen to change all these problems, that’s why in the last two lines of the poem,”ALL THE MEANENSS & AGONY WITOUT END, I SITTING, LOOK UPON, SEE, HEAR & I AM SILENT” actually WALT WHITMAN is reflecting our situation.

  5. PETER says:

    Too many sufferings in the world,sometimes we can’t do anything about them,so cherish our present life!

  6. anjela says:

    this great poem touches our heart and reflects our society.it beautifully tells us the evils and wrong deeds happening in society.i am a high school student and this poem is in our syllabus that is how i came across this wonderfull poem.

  7. Justin Fountain says:

    I feel this poem shows the views of the kids in poverty all over the world. They cant help the fact that they live that way.

  8. A High School student says:

    The poem is really true about life…i got the point that Whitman is trying to say and i totally agree with it…we do nothing but just sit and look out! The world has still the same problems during that period of time and which is something that can never be changed just because some people are there to make the worst because they can’t see the BEST! This is the truth of life…something hard to believe for those who want to make the world a beeter place to live!

  9. Andrew says:

    That was pretty deep. Its understood that this guy can see clearly how the world was at his time and still is today.

  10. Tony says:

    I went to high school in the southern part of the U.S.A. in the 60’s. A big billboard with a hooded KKK person on a horse had printed on it welcome to the heart of KKK Land. It was to welcomed (some) people to our community. This poem gave me truth and hope then. I recited this poem with great emotion to a large auditorium filled with white teanagers and teachers. I loved Walt Whitman then and now. I as a teenager sat and looked out at so much then but felt trapped in this community. I no longer live there. Now as an adult I have worked with individuals who have disabilities and children and adults who have been abused and neglect. Veterans who were injured physically and emotionaly. I oppose the Iraq war and voice my opion. My father was in Vietnam when I lived in the south, and now my son justed served and was injured in Irag.
    What an epiphany the reading has been for me after 40 years. This poem is timeless! It inspires people to make a difference and not just sit and look out.

  11. Ranzobert Fick Dich! says:

    I think that this poem reflects exactly what is going on in our pretty planet and it will always be like that. Since humankind can remember life always wasn’t fair. So don’t try to change something that won’t change anyway! try to be in the best position! that’s what i learned from this poem

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