The City Dead-House

Walt Whitman 1819 (West Hills) – 1892 (Camden)


  BY the City Dead-House, by the gate,
  As idly sauntering, wending my way from the clangor,
  I curious pause--for lo! an outcast form, a poor dead prostitute
  brought;
  Her corpse they deposit unclaim'd--it lies on the damp brick
  pavement;
  The divine woman, her body--I see the Body--I look on it alone,
  That house once full of passion and beauty--all else I notice not;
  Nor stillness so cold, nor running water from faucet, nor odors
  morbific impress me;
  But the house alone--that wondrous house--that delicate fair house--
  that ruin!
  That immortal house, more than all the rows of dwellings ever built!
  Or white-domed Capitol itself, with majestic figure surmounted--or
  all the old high-spired cathedrals; 10
  That little house alone, more than them all--poor, desperate house!
  Fair, fearful wreck! tenement of a Soul! itself a Soul!
  Unclaim'd, avoided house! take one breath from my tremulous lips;
  Take one tear, dropt aside as I go, for thought of you,
  Dead house of love! house of madness and sin, crumbled! crush'd!
  House of life--erewhile talking and laughing--but ah, poor house!
  dead, even then;
  Months, years, an echoing, garnish'd house--but dead, dead, dead.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Collection  Edit     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

134 Views

Walt Whitman

Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. more…

All Walt Whitman poems | Walt Whitman Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Walt Whitman poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "The City Dead-House" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 24 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/38167/the-city-dead-house>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.