Happy National Poetry Day! Here’s a Mid-Workday Pick-Me-Up from Walt Whitman

October 2, 2014

4:30 pm

It’s Thursday, meaning we’re so close to the end of the week. If you can just make it through these final hours of today’s workday, then you can go grab a drink (or four) at Happy Hour. But, then again, if you’re working at a startup, then on some twisted level, you appreciate and even indulge in the work that you do (I know I do)…maybe even to the point where the identity of your soul and that towards which you imbue your passions become entwined in a sweet symphony yet unheard by the Silicon Valleys, Alleys, and implants (ha) of the world. That is…until today. Because it’s National Poetry Day. And I love poetry. So, um, here’s a classic poem from notorious humanist, Walt Whitman, to remind you to keep doing the work you love.

I Hear America Singing

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe
and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off
work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deck-
hand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing
as he stands,
The woodcutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morn-
ing, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work,
or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young
fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

“I Hear America Singing” sits in the public domain. The above version of the poem is as it appeared in the 1867 edition of Leaves of Grass.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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