a sound i love

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)

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