This marble, dead and cold

The featured image is not by me, I have never been to the Washington Monument – I have been to Washington State, but not Washington DC. Today, I’m sharing a poem for February from Walt Whitman; he was born in 1819 in Long Island, New York, and died aged 72 in Camden New Jersey in 1892. I have been to New York, and I have been to New Jersey!

The Washington Monument is a huge in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington; it was begun in 1832, and made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss. It is  the world’s tallest stone structure and also the world’s tallest obelisk. It is nearly 555 feet tall but was originally planned to be 600 feet tall. It was dedicated in February 1885, and opened to the public in 1888.

Washington’s Monument, February, 1885

Ah, not this marble, dead and cold:
Far from its base and shaft expanding – the round zones circling,

Thou, Washington, art all the world’s, the continents’ entire  –
not yours alone, America,

Europe’s as well, in every part, castle of lord or laborer’s cot,
Or frozen North, or sultry South – the African’s – the Arab’s in
his tent,

Old Asia’s there with venerable smile, seated amid her ruins;
(Greets the antique the hero new? ‘tis but the same – the heir
legitimate, continued ever,

The indomitable heart and arm – proofs of the never-broken

Courage, alertness, patience, faith, the same – e’en in defeat
defeated not, the same.

Wherever sails a ship, or house is built on land, or day or night,
Through teeming cities’ streets, indoors or out, factories or farms,
Now, or to come, or past – where patriot wills existed or exist,
Wherever Freedom, pois’d by Toleration, sway’d by Law,
Stands or is rising thy true monument.

Walt Whitman

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