TEARS! tears! tears!
In the night, in solitude, tears;
On the white shore dripping, dripping, suck’d in by the sand;
Tears—not a star shining—all dark and desolate;
Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head:
—O who is that ghost?—that form in the dark, with tears?
What shapeless lump is that, bent, crouch’d there on the sand?
Streaming tears—sobbing tears—throes, choked with wild cries;
O storm, embodied, rising, careering, with swift steps along the beach;
O wild and dismal night storm, with wind! O belching and desperate!
O shade, so sedate and decorous by day, with calm countenance and regulated pace;
But away, at night, as you fly, none looking—O then the unloosen’d ocean,
Of tears! tears! tears!

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

3 Comments

  1. Luca Molnar says:

    I am completely on my own in a country, 2000 km away from my home, family and friends… And there I was, reading Leaves of Grass and suddenly I noticed this poem, like if it had been waiting for me – it is exactly how I feel now and it helps me a lot these difficult days. I am no longer alone…

  2. Elizabeth says:

    i was browsing through these poems because i liked Whitman’s “Song of Myself” – this poem stood out to me because it discusses deep feelings that, as Emily Nelson stated, speak out to everyone whenever they feel alone.

  3. Emily Nelson says:

    i like this poem beacuse it really speaks to me, and what im going through. it almost sounds like it was made to fit into my life and to open my eyes to what has been happening.

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Your email address will not be published.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.