Poems: Day Seven - Weave in, My Hardy Life by Walt Whitman

Ah, the last day of poetry week. It wasn't very popular with readers, but I loved it, and the few readers who liked it really liked it. I'll be sad to see it go. 

Today's poem is in the public domain, so here it is. 

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

Weave in, My Hardy Life
Walt Whitman, 1819-1892
Weave in, weave in, my hardy life,
Weave yet a soldier strong and full for great campaigns to come,
Weave in red blood, weave sinews in like ropes, the senses, sight weave in,
Weave lasting sure, weave day and night the weft, the warp, incessant weave, tire not,
(We know not what the use O life, nor know the aim, the end, nor really aught we know,
But know the work, the need goes on and shall go on, the death-envelop’d march of peace as
       well as war goes on,)
For great campaigns of peace the same the wiry threads to weave,
We know not why or what, yet weave, forever weave.

A poem about war that doubles as a metaphor for life. Toward no obvious end, we fight on, we rest, we fight again. At first I found it inspiring, but gradually it's bringing on a sense of existential dread. 

As always, it's best to focus on the process, not the outcome, right? We will weave, because weaving is the thing we do. 

There is also something weary here, the weariness of constant work, the constant battle. Whitman struggled financially most of his life, and this poem brings that struggle to mind as well. 

I love poems like this one, where it's possible to keep going over the words, looking for hints that lead to other possible interpretations. Even if all of my interpretations are wrong, it's still fun to do. 


Week Five: Creative - Poem-A-Day

  1. Day One - Names
  2. Extra Poem - I Am Vertical
  3. Day Two - Non-lieux
  4. Extra Poem - Bring on the Goddamn Cat
  5. Day Three - As a Portent
  6. Extra Poem - To Autumn
  7. Day Four - Playback
  8. Day Five - Last Night
  9. Day Six - Black Cat
  10. Day Seven - Weave In, My Hardy Life
  11. Extra Poems
  12. Conclusion