Ah Poverties, Wincings Sulky Retreats
by Walt Whitman
AH poverties, wincings, and sulky retreats!
Ah you foes that in conflict have overcome me!
(For what is my life, or any man's life, but a conflict with foes--
the old, the incessant war?)
You degradations--you tussle with passions and appetites;
You smarts from dissatisfied friendships, (ah wounds, the sharpest of
You toil of painful and choked articulations--you meannesses;
You shallow tongue-talks at tables, (my tongue the shallowest of
You broken resolutions, you racking angers, you smother'd ennuis;
Ah, think not you finally triumph--My real self has yet to come
It shall yet march forth o'ermastering, till all lies beneath me; 10
It shall yet stand up the soldier of unquestion'd victory.