POETS to come! orators, singers, musicians to come!
Not to-day is to justify me, and answer what I am for;
But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than before known,
Arouse! Arouse-for you must justify me-you must answer.

I myself but write one or two indicative words for the future,
I but advance a moment, only to wheel and hurry back in the darkness.

I am a man who, sauntering along, without fully stopping, turns a casual look upon you,
averts his face,
Leaving it to you to prove and define it,
Expecting the main things from you.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Walt Whitman's poem Poets to Come.


  1. Shimon Weinroth says:

    Oh Walt Whitman father of modern free verse fear not!

    Great poets breed more poets
    Who feed on
    The divinity of poety
    Who seed the poets
    Of the future
    And so on to infinity

    Shimon Weinroth

  2. G.Isaac says:

    “Expecting the main things from you.”

    What is certain – uncertainty? Uncertainty!
    Not just today – yea! Yea?
    Justification to let the sun kiss the leaves and the grass
    And the growths within me – without me
    Wicked me…Wicked me…Wicked me
    Burning less than the sun
    Shining more than the moon
    Unable to hurry back and hide
    As expected? Expected!

    These are the words of what is defiance within a man.
    These are the words – what is defiance within a woman.

    Leaving what has left, whimpering in some lost circle of jaded innocence.
    The dirt in my hand is not for your grave…
    it is to cover your face
    the same disgraced advancement
    set your final resting place
    before you
    could finally rest!

    What I must do you never could.
    I justify me by my words, my own words,
    proving and defining me in a world you could never bear as a mother would
    nor walk across as a true traveler should, understand? Understand!
    I found me out there, away from my door, my home, my born life,
    before I ever met you.
    Before I ever saw your face run and hide…
    I saw the faces of important others unimportant enough to chase me away
    to dreams you could never have.

    Burning less than the moon,
    shining more than the sun,
    defying the loss in order to gain the me that was never to be.
    What I found?
    You need others to make you real.
    That is glory?
    I exist.
    Defined…before you – without you.

    I felt the use of profanity unnecessary, though it was in the original. I used it for my own vindication. me stingy if you wish, but they are my words. Hope this can help you understand one view of the calling.

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