That Boy

Is the house turned topsy-turvy?
Does it ring from street to roof?
Will the racket still continue,
Spite of all your mild reproof?
Are you often in a flutter?
Are you sometimes thrilled with joy?
Then I have my grave suspicions
That you have at home--that Boy.

Are your walls and tables hammered?
Are your nerves and ink upset?
Have two eyes, so bright and roguish,
Made you every care forget?
Have your garden beds a prowler,
Who delights but to destroy?
These are well-known indications
That you have at home--that Boy.

Have you seen him playing circus
With his head upon the mat,
And his heels in mid-arm twinkling--
For his audience, the cat?
Do you ever stop to listen,
When his merry planks annoy,--
Listen to a voice that whispers,
You were once just like--that Boy?

Have you heard of broken windows,
And with nobody to blame?
Have you seen a trousered urchin
Quite unconscious of the same?
Do you love a teasing mixture
Of perplexity and joy?
You may have a dozen daughters,
But I know you've got--that Boy.

by Anonymous Americas

Comments (4)

Im thinking that when he see a shadow he sees himself or attempting to find himself.
I'm not sure though if he changes himself for his lovers, and that the shadow means the shadow of himself, or if he changes himself for the world and can only be himself, natural like his shadow, around his lovers.
I agree with you cody. I think the poem focuses on himself and who he is. It is like he questions himself constantly when he is around his 'lovers', its like he changes for them ya know?
To me, he's saying how the Shadow is his real self, and that only with his 'lovers' and while singing can he truly be himself. Whitman getting in touch with his inner show girl.