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Self

James Oppenheim 1882 – 1932 (New York City)

Once I freed myself of my duties to tasks and people and went down to the cleansing sea...

The air was like wine to my spirit,
The sky bathed my eyes with infinity,
The sun followed me, casting golden snares on the tide,

And the ocean—masses of molten surfaces, faintly gray-blue—sang to my heart...

Then I found myself, all here in the body and brain, and all there on the shore:
Content to be myself: free, and strong, and enlarged:
Then I knew the depths of myself were the depths of space.

And all living beings were of those depths (my brothers and sisters)
And that by going inward and away from duties, cities, street-cars and greetings,
I was dipping behind all surfaces, piercing cities and people,

And entering in and possessing them, more than a brother,
The surge of all life in them and in me...

So I swore I would be myself (there by the ocean)
And I swore I would cease to neglect myself, but would take myself as my mate,
Solemn marriage and deep: midnights of thought to be:

Long mornings of sacred communion, and twilights of talk,
Myself and I, long parted, clasping and married till death.
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Submitted by halel on July 13, 2020

1:00 min read
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James Oppenheim

James Oppenheim was an American poet, novelist, and editor. A lay analyst and early follower of Carl Jung, Oppenheim was also the founder and editor of The Seven Arts, an important early 20th-century literary magazine. He was a well-known writer of short stories and novels. more…

All James Oppenheim poems | James Oppenheim Books

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    "Self" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 11 Apr. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/53943/self>.

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