Whitman heard America singing as
he roamed his unruly Mannahatta.
I hear America talking to itself
on our streets and subways.
Yes, loud and heavy mumblings I hear.
He heard "the delicious singing of mothers,"
of woodcutters and boatmen, of the
carpenter measuring his beam.
I hear America as distinctly off the beam.
Choirs of pain I hear, a wail of loneliness
from the broken people, those
tattered citizens, our shopping cart
legion, bumping their chariots down
the cobblestones of this Democracy.
These are the carols I hear.