"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Poetry: I Hear America Singing by Walt Whitman

In honor of the Fourth of July, here’s a poem by the most American of poets, our national poet, Walt Whitman, writing about what he writes best, the heart and wonder of America.

I Hear America Singing
by Walt Whitman
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.

Here's a video clip of a reading of this poem.
Happy birthday America! 


  1. I sang this poem in a choral setting once :) I looked for a you tube of it but only could find one arrangement that definitely wasn't the one we did. sad -- it was really good.

    1. Oh I love to hear poems set to music. If you ever find it let me know.