Passage 26 from "Leaves of Grass"
I think I will do nothing for a long time but listen,
And accrue what I hear into myself... and let sounds contribute toward me.
I hear the bravuras of birds... the bustle of growing wheat... gossip of flames... clack of sticks cooking my meals.
I hear the sound of the human voice... a sound I love,
I hear all sounds as they are tuned to their uses... sounds of the city and sounds out of the city...sounds of the day and night;
Talkative young ones to those that like them... the recitative of fish-pedlars and fruit-pedlars...the loud laugh of workpeople at their meals,
The angry base of disjointed friendship... the faint tones of the sick,
The judge with hands tight to the desk, his shaky lips pronouncing a death-sentence,
The heave'e'yo of stevedores unloading ships by the wharves... the refrain of the anchor-lifters;
The ring of alarm-bells...the cry of fire... the whirr of swift-streaking engines and hose-carts with premonitory tinkles and colored lights,
The steam-whistle...the solid roll of the train of approaching cars;
The slow-march played at night at the head of the association,
They go to guard some corpse... the flag-tops are draped with black muslin.
I hear the violincello or man's heart complaint,
And hear the keyed cornet or else the echo of sunset.
I hear the chorus... it is a grand-opera... this indeed is music!
A tenor large and fresh as the creation fills me,
The orbic flex of his mouth is pouring and filling me full.
I hear the trained soprano... she convulses me like the climax of my love-grip;
The orchestra whirls me wider than Uranus flies,
It wrenches unnamable ardors from my breast,
It throbs me to gulps of the farthest down horror,
It sails me... I dab with bare feet... they are licked by the indolent waves,
I am exposed... cut by bitter and poisoned hail,
Steeped amid honeyed morphine... my windpipe squeezed in the fakes of death,
Let up again to feel the puzzle of puzzles,
And that we call Being.