by Walt Whitman
The butcher-boy puts off his killing-clothes, or sharpens his
knife at the stall in the market,
I loiter enjoying his repartee and his shuffle and break-down.
Blacksmiths with grimed and hairy chests environ the anvil,
Each has his main-sledge, they are all out, there is a great
heat in the fire.
From the cinder-strew'd threshold I follow their movements,
The lithe sheer of their waists plays even with their massive
Overhand the hammers swing, overhand so slow, overhand
They do not hasten, each man hits in his place.
Note: A recitation can be heard here.
- Mark Olival-Bartley
- Mark Olival-Bartley teaches English, tutors composition, trains teachers, and advises a literary circle. He 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 LMU Munich’s Department of English and American Studies, 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.