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
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;
I hear the violincello or man’s heart’s complaint,
And hear the keyed cornet or else the echo of sunset.
I hear the chorus . . . . it is a grand-opera . . . . this indeed is
Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass (1855)