“To the historians” By Walt Whitman


You who celebrate bygones,
Who have explored the outward, the surfaces of the races, the life
that has exhibited itself,
Who have treated of man as the creature of politics, aggregates,
rulers and priests,
I, habitan of the Alleghanies, treating of him as he is in himself
in his own rights,
Pressing the pulse of the life that has seldom exhibited itself,
(the great pride of man in himself,)
Chanter of Personality, outlining what is yet to be,
I project the history of the futur
e.

In the last line Whitman speaks about his mission in poetry ,which is not to narrate the history of mankind in terms of dead and gone events but to chant(sing) of what is yet to be-the future of man as projected over the graph of the past . Projecting the history of the future is equivalent to drawing upon the past for the behaviour and trend of collective human actions to arrive at the likely scenario of the future. Whitman the individualist will sing of the pride of man in himself and in his own rights. His chronicles are not a series of wars, calamities, nations and their upheavals , kings, queens, rulers and priests and their politics .Singing of these is mere singing of the surfaces of the races, exploring the mere outward.

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