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This poem seems to be one of Whitman’s most straightforward. It seems to just want to state that as time passes each generation continues to face the same problems as the prior. I think in particular he is talking about death and how we become more familiar with every coming year of our lives.

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The two old, simple problems ever intertwined,
Close home, elusive, present, baffled, grappled.
By each successive age insoluble, passd on,
To ours to-day and we pass on the same.