OF persons arrived at high positions, ceremonies, wealth, scholarships, and the like;
To me, all that those persons have arrived at, sinks away from them, except as it results
Bodies and Souls,
So that often to me they appear gaunt and naked;
And often, to me, each one mocks the others, and mocks himself or herself,
And of each one, the core of life, namely happiness, is full of the rotten excrement of
And often, to me, those men and women pass unwittingly the true realities of life, and go
And often, to me, they are alive after what custom has served them, but nothing more,
And often, to me, they are sad, hasty, unwaked sonnambules, walking the dusk.
this poem serves as whitman’s outlet into the reality of the world by proclaiming that material possessions will not save your soul from hell.