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Out From Behind His Mask

Walt Whitman 1819 (West Hills) – 1892 (Camden)


  OUT from behind this bending, rough-cut Mask,
  (All straighter, liker Masks rejected--this preferr'd,)
  This common curtain of the face, contain'd in me for me, in you for
  you, in each for each,
  (Tragedies, sorrows, laughter, tears--O heaven!
  The passionate, teeming plays this curtain hid!)
  This glaze of God's serenest, purest sky,
  This film of Satan's seething pit,
  This heart's geography's map--this limitless small continent--this
  soundless sea;
  Out from the convolutions of this globe,
  This subtler astronomic orb than sun or moon--than Jupiter, Venus,
  Mars; 10
  This condensation of the Universe--(nay, here the only Universe,
  Here the IDEA--all in this mystic handful wrapt;)
  These burin'd eyes, flashing to you, to pass to future time,
  To launch and spin through space revolving, sideling--from these to
  emanate,
  To You, whoe'er you are--a Look.

  A Traveler of thoughts and years--of peace and war,
  Of youth long sped, and middle age declining,
  (As the first volume of a tale perused and laid away, and this the
  second,
  Songs, ventures, speculations, presently to close,)
  Lingering a moment, here and now, to You I opposite turn, 20
  As on the road, or at some crevice door, by chance, or open'd window,
  Pausing, inclining, baring my head, You specially I greet,
  To draw and clench your Soul, for once, inseparably with mine,
  Then travel, travel on.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:09 min read
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Walt Whitman

Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. more…

All Walt Whitman poems | Walt Whitman Books

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    "Out From Behind His Mask" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 18 May 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/38103/out-from-behind-his-mask>.

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