A child said, What is the grass?
A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.
I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.
Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?
Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
of the vegetation.
Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.
And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.
Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother's laps,
And here you are the mother's laps.
This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.
O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.
What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and
They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.
All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
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Comments about this poem (A child said, What is the grass? by Walt Whitman )
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
- Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Christmas Carol, Sara Teasdale
- The Three Kings, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
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