Sparkles From The Wheel

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




   WHERE the city's ceaseless crowd moves on, the live-long day,
   Withdrawn, I join a group of children watching--I pause aside with
         them.

   By the curb, toward the edge of the flagging,
   A knife-grinder works at his wheel, sharpening a great knife;
   Bending over, he carefully holds it to the stone--by foot and knee,
   With measur'd tread, he turns rapidly--As he presses with light but
         firm hand,
   Forth issue, then, in copious golden jets,
   Sparkles from the wheel.

   The scene, and all its belongings--how they seize and affect me!
   The sad, sharp-chinn'd old man, with worn clothes, and broad
         shoulder-band of leather;                                    10
   Myself, effusing and fluid--a phantom curiously floating--now here
         absorb'd and arrested;

   The group, (an unminded point, set in a vast surrounding;)
   The attentive, quiet children--the loud, proud, restive base of the
         streets;
   The low, hoarse purr of the whirling stone--the light-press'd blade,
   Diffusing, dropping, sideways-darting, in tiny showers of gold,
   Sparkles from the wheel.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 22, 2023

49 sec read
215

Quick analysis:

Scheme xxx axbxxxC bxxxx axxxxC
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,112
Words 159
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 3, 7, 5, 6

Walt Whitman

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

All Walt Whitman poems | Walt Whitman Books

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