Mannahatta – Walt Whitman

by practicalspactical

I was asking for something specific and perfect for my city,
Whereupon lo! upsprang the aboriginal name.

Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane,
 unruly, musical, self-sufficient,
I see that the word of my city is that word from of old,
Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays,
 superb,
Rich, hemm’d thick all around with sailships and
 steamships, an island sixteen miles long, solid-founded,
Numberless crowded streets, high growths of iron, slender,
 strong, light, splendidly uprising torward clear skies,
Tides swift and ample, well-loved by me, toward sundown,
The flowing sea-currents, the little islands, larger adjoining
 islands, the heights, the villas,
The countless masts, the white shore-steamers, the lighters,
 the ferry-boats, the black sea-steamers well-model’d,
The down-town streets, the jobbers’ houses of business, the
 houses of business of the ship-merchants and money-
 brokers, the river-streets,
The summer air, the bright sun shining, and the sailing
 clouds aloft,
The winter snows, the sleigh-bells, the broken ice in the
 river, passing along up or down with the flood-tide or
 ebb-tide,
The mechanics of the city, the masters, well-form’d,
 beautiful-faced, looking you straight in the eyes,
Trottoirs throng’d, vehicles, Broadway, the women, the
 shops and shows,
A million people–manners free and superb–open voices–
 hospitality–the most courageous and friendly young
 men,
City of hurried and sparkling waters! city of spires and masts!
City nested in bays! my city!