ON the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro, singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining-I think a thought of the clef of the universes, and of
the future.

A VAST SIMILITUDE interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets, comets, asteroids,
All the substances of the same, and all that is spiritual upon the same,
All distances of place, however wide,
All distances of time-all inanimate forms,
All Souls-all living bodies, though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes-the fishes, the brutes,
All men and women-me also;
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages;
All identities that have existed, or may exist, on this globe, or any globe;
All lives and deaths-all of the past, present, future;
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d, and shall forever span them, and
compactly hold them, and enclose them.

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

6 Comments

  1. harlie says:

    ive loved walt whitman ever sense i hear o captain my captain. and i love this poem as well. i love the poems that make you think about the world and life (:

  2. Kendra says:

    I’m using this poem for an interpretive movie and oral presentation – and to be completely honest, it sucks.

  3. Colby says:

    I am also using this for a school project. I would just like to say how much this poem means to me, it gave me a prespective on life.

  4. Kid says:

    this is a sort of complex poem, however, just like Jason, i am also using it for a shcool project

  5. Jason says:

    this poem is very good, it talks about the importance of life and how wonderful it can be, i am using this poem for a school project but i think that it is very wonderful

  6. jackie says:

    i dont really get it. but i love it all at the same time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem better? If they are accepted, they will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.