Walt Whitman

(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

A Hand-Mirror - Poem by Walt Whitman


HOLD it up sternly! See this it sends back! (Who is it? Is it you?)
Outside fair costume--within ashes and filth,
No more a flashing eye--no more a sonorous voice or springy step;
Now some slave's eye, voice, hands, step,
A drunkard's breath, unwholesome eater's face, venerealee's flesh,
Lungs rotting away piecemeal, stomach sour and cankerous,
Joints rheumatic, bowels clogged with abomination,
Blood circulating dark and poisonous streams,
Words babble, hearing and touch callous,
No brain, no heart left--no magnetism of sex; 10
Such, from one look in this looking-glass ere you go hence,
Such a result so soon--and from such a beginning!


Comments about A Hand-Mirror by Walt Whitman

  • Gold Star - 39,733 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (9/16/2014 8:02:00 AM)

    It is mandatory to know about our self in the mirror of our mind find find find (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 30,591 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (4/25/2014 3:38:00 AM)

    The poet asks ourselves to look and understand what we are. good poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 38 Points Cambridge Keenan (7/10/2013 7:45:00 PM)

    This is about aging, not so gracefully perhaps (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kristen Hall (2/6/2013 11:44:00 AM)

    This reminds me of The Lumineers' line from Slow it Down: Smile less and dress up some more. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Joy Vanderhelm (1/21/2006 8:43:00 PM)

    Oh, the horros that come with age! I, for one, plan on inventing a time-machine that doesn't go back in time, rather just creates a bubble. One that allows me to remain super sexy and relatively healthy until my death bed. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: dark, mirror, heart



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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