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I Sit and Look Out by Walt Whitman


"I Sit and Look Out" is a poem written by Walt Whitman. This is somewhat of a sad poem about the state of how humans are. Whitman says that he notices day in and day out all the wrongness people are dealt. He whitnesses mother's being mistreated, wives treated poorly, jealousy, unrequited love, famines, workers mistreated, and much more. However, the author does nothing except sit and watch.

This poem consits of only one stanza; however, it has ten lines.


I Sit and Look Out

I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all oppression and shame;
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with themselves, remorseful after deeds done;
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt, desperate;
I see the wife misused by her husband-I see the treacherous seducer of young women;
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be hid-I see these sights on the earth;
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny-I see martyrs and prisoners;
I observe a famine at sea-I observe the sailors casting lots who shall be kill'd, to preserve the lives of the rest;
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;
All these-All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon,
See, hear, and am silent.

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Literary Movement
19th Century

Sadness, Wife, Hatred, Life

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