About Me

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Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in TESOL, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson’s sonnets for his dissertation at Amerika Institut of LMU Munich, where also he edits a poetry weekly. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor of Review of International American Studies.

20150130

Song of Myself

by Walt Whitman

4

Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward
     and city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors
     old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I
     love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or
     loss or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful
     news, the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.
Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle,
     unitary,
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable
     certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering
     at it.

Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog
     with linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait.

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