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To a Stranger by Walt Whitman


"To a Stranger" is a poem written by Walt Whitman. This poem is about Whitman's dream. He dreams of someone, either male or female, who makes him incredibly happy. They spend time together and he finds this person to be the most beautiful in the world and she/he treats him greatly. He does not want to speak to this person, he simply wants to wait for him or her to return to his dream so he doesn't lose that person.

This poem is written as two stanzas. The first stanza consits of four lines while the second has six lines.


To a Stranger

Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,

You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

Next: To Foreign Lands
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Literary Movement
19th Century

Dream, Happiness, Beauty

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