I Hear America Singing

Walt Whitman

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 deckhand
…..singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as
…..he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning,
…..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.

Sento cantar l’America

Walt Whitman

Sento cantar l’America, i suoi diversi canti sento,
Quelli dei meccanici, ciascuno canta il suo gioioso e forte come è giusto che sia,
Il falegname canta mentre misura assi o travi ,
Il muratore canta preparandosi al lavoro o quando dal lavoro se ne va,
Il marinaio canta ciò che gli appartiene nella nave, il mozzo
…..canta sul ponte del battello a vapore,
Il calzolaio canta mentre siede sulla panca, il cappellaio mentre
…..sta in piedi,
Il boscaiolo canta, e canta il contadino per strada la mattina, nella
…..pausa di mezzogiorno o al tramonto,
Sento il piacevole canto della madre, o della giovane sposa al lavoro,
…..o della ricamatrice, o della lavandaia,
Ciascuno canta ciò che appartiene a lui o a lei e a nessun altro,
Il giorno quel che appartiene al giorno – e la notte giovani,
…..robusti e amabili,
tutti insieme a voce piena i loro dolci canti.

Translation ©Arabella Bertola


Walt Whitman was an American poet, essayist, and journalist; he worked as a teacher, and a government clerk. The poem I hear America singing comes from Whitman’s major work, Leaves of Grass, published in 1855 with his own money. The work was an attempt to reach out to the common person through this American epic.

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