Years Of The Modern

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

   YEARS of the modern! years of the unperform'd!
   Your horizon rises--I see it parting away for more august dramas;
   I see not America only--I see not only Liberty's nation, but other
         nations preparing;
   I see tremendous entrances and exits--I see new combinations--I see
         the solidarity of races;
   I see that force advancing with irresistible power on the world's
   (Have the old forces, the old wars, played their parts? are the acts
         suitable to them closed?)
   I see Freedom, completely arm'd, and victorious, and very haughty,
         with Law on one side, and Peace on the other,
   A stupendous Trio, all issuing forth against the idea of caste;
   --What historic denouements are these we so rapidly approach?
   I see men marching and countermarching by swift millions;          10
   I see the frontiers and boundaries of the old aristocracies broken;
   I see the landmarks of European kings removed;
   I see this day the People beginning their landmarks, (all others give
   --Never were such sharp questions ask'd as this day;
   Never was average man, his soul, more energetic, more like a God;
   Lo! how he urges and urges, leaving the masses no rest;
   His daring foot is on land and sea everywhere--he colonizes the
         Pacific, the archipelagoes;
   With the steam-ship, the electric telegraph, the newspaper, the
         wholesale engines of war,
   With these, and the world-spreading factories, he interlinks all
         geography, all lands;
   --What whispers are these, O lands, running ahead of you, passing
         under the seas?                                              20
   Are all nations communing? is there going to be but one heart to the
   Is humanity forming, en-masse?--for lo! tyrants tremble, crowns grow
   The earth, restive, confronts a new era, perhaps a general divine
   No one knows what will happen next--such portents fill the days and
   Years prophetical! the space ahead as I walk, as I vainly try to
         pierce it, is full of phantoms;
   Unborn deeds, things soon to be, project their shapes around me;
   This incredible rush and heat--this strange extatic fever of dreams,
         O years!
   Your dreams, O year, how they penetrate through me! (I know not
         whether I sleep or wake!)
   The perform'd America and Europe grow dim, retiring in shadow behind
   The unperform'd, more gigantic than ever, advance, advance upon
         me.                                                          30

Font size:
Collection  PDF     

Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:56 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 2,582
Words 382
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 49

Walt Whitman

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

All Walt Whitman poems | Walt Whitman Books

35 fans

Discuss the poem Years Of The Modern with the community...



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "Years Of The Modern" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 26 May 2024. <>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    May 2024

    Poetry Contest

    Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.

    Special Program

    Earn Rewards!

    Unlock exciting rewards such as a free mug and free contest pass by commenting on fellow members' poems today!



    Are you a poetry master?

    Who wrote the 1916 poem "Out, Out—"?
    A Elinor Frost
    B Robert Frost
    C Emily Dickinson
    D Robert Browning