While passing through the Dupont Metro the other day I noticed text being engraved into the North Entrance facade. The excerpt from a Walt Whitman poem will read as follows:
Thus in silence in dreams’ projections,
Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals;
The hurt and wounded I pacify with soothing hand,
I sit by the restless all dark night – some are so young;
Some suffer so much – I recall the experience sweet and sad…
-Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass, 1876
According to DCist:
In response to questions in the comments, the WMATA board approved the addition of the carved poems back in February, and it’s being funded by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Metro is paying for the large circular bench, which it seems still hasn’t been installed. The two poems were picked by a “committee of community and local art and design professionals,” which included Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), and they were chosen around the theme of people who care for others suffering from devastating illnesses.
I am not exactly sure why they decided to focus on the invalid, and we already have Walt Whitman poems in the metro (U St, I believe?) but here is another poem, by Carl Sandburg, I picked out that could have fit:
Out of your many faces
Flash memories to me
Now at the day end
Away from the sidewalks
Where your shoe soles traveled
And your voices rose and blent
To form the city’s afternoon roar
Hindering an old silence.
I remember lean ones among you,
Throats in the clutch of a hope,
Lips written over with strivings,
Mouths that kiss only for love.
Records of great wishes slept with,
And prayed and toiled for. .
And your throats
I read them
When you passed by.