Ah Poverties, Wincings Sulky Retreats
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 all;)
You toil of painful and choked articulations--you meannesses;
You shallow tongue-talks at tables, (my tongue the shallowest of any;)
You broken resolutions, you racking angers, you smother'd ennuis;
Ah, think not you finally triumph--My real self has yet to come forth;
It shall yet march forth o'ermastering, till all lies beneath me;
It shall yet stand up the soldier of unquestion'd victory.
Ah Poverties, Wincings Sulky Retreats by Walt Whitman