Woman and Man

  
The male is not less the soul nor more, he too is in his place,

He too is all qualities, he is action and power,

The flush of the known universe is in him,

Scorn becomes him well, and appetite and defiance becomes him well,

The wildest, largest passions, bliss that is utmost, sorrow that is utmost become him well, pride is for him,

The full-spread pride of man is calming and excellent to the soul,

Knowledge becomes him, he likes it always, he brings every thing to the test of himself,

Whatever the survey, whatever the sea and the sail he strikes soundings at last only here,

(Where else does he strike soundings except here?)

The man’s body is sacred and the woman’s body is sacred,

No matter who it is, sacred – is it the meanest one of the laborer’s gang?

Is it one of the dull-faced immigrants just landed on the wharf?

Each belongs here or anywhere just as much as the well-off, just as much as you,

Each has his or her place in the procession.

(All is a procession, The universe is a procession with measured and perfect motion.)

Do you know so much yourself that you call the meanest ignorant?
Do you suppose you have a right to a good sight, and he or she has no right to a sight?

Do you think matter has cohered together from its diffuse float, and the soil is on the surface, and water runs and vegetation sprouts,

For you only, and not for him and her?

– Paul Cava

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