I hear America singing


…from the quills of the dead white poets

Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892)

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,

Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,

The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,

The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,

The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat,

the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,

The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,

The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning,

or at noon intermission or at sundown,

The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work,

or of the girl sewing or washing,

Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,

The day what belongs to the day –

at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,

Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

And a small example of modern American poetry for comparison and perhaps despair: –

“Wham! Rap”

Hey everybody take a look at me,I’ve got street credibility, I may not have a job, But I have a good time, With the boys that I meet “down on the line” I DON’T NEED YOU So you don’t approve, Well, who asked you to? HEY, JERK YOU WORK This guy’s got better things to do HELL I ain’t never gonna work, get down in the dirt I choose, to cruise Gonna live my life, sharp as a knife I’ve found my groove and I just can’t lose I’m style from head to toe Cool cat flash gonna let you know I’m a soul boy – I’m a dole boy – Take pleasure in leisure, I believe in joy!

About Paul Jacko

Jacko was born in Czechoslovakia not long before the communist putsch in February 1948. He studied industrial chemistry there and left in 1969 for Australia, where he became a lawyer and established his own practice. He has now retired and beside hunting, fishing, camping, prospecting and playing golf he amuses himself by writing.
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4 Responses to I hear America singing

  1. Mimi Doll says:

    Oh my goodness! What a comparision! The rap lyrics reflect the times, of course. Obama loves it.

  2. Sec Blogs says:

    Hey, thanks for the amazing post! :D

  3. Arthur Pottnym says:

    What’s the point of working? Obama will provide.

  4. Sur Chicago says:

    You put it nicely – America used to work, now it waits for the welfare.

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