Poetic Friday: “City of Orgies,” Walt Whitman

City of orgies, walks and joys,
City whom that I have lived and sung in your midst will one day make
Not the pageants of you, not your shifting tableaus, your
spectacles, repay me,
Not the interminable rows of your houses, nor the ships at the wharves,
Nor the processions in the streets, nor the bright windows with
goods in them,
Nor to converse with learn’d persons, or bear my share in the soiree
or feast;
Not those, but as I pass O Manhattan, your frequent and swift flash
of eyes offering me love,
Offering response to my own–these repay me,
Lovers, continual lovers, only repay me.

As the weather gets warmer, I miss the city. I miss it most of the time, but I particularly catch myself wanting to way to the Q train when I feel a spring breeze approach. This is the second time I’ve posted a Whitman poem, but you’ll have to forgive me because I fucking love Walt Whitman. In this, he says that New York and the people in the city repay him. It begs the question, what does the city owe him? It doesn’t owe him anything, it just gives.

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Side B Magazine

A literary magazine for emerging artists. We believe that all people have the right to read, see, and hear stories that affirm their identity.

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