Leaves Of Grass Walt Whitman Quotes

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Resist much, obey little.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I am large, I contain multitudes
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Do anything, but let it produce joy.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Peace is always beautiful.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering... these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love... these are what we stay alive for.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
And as to me, I know nothing else but miracles
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I am satisfied ... I see, dance, laugh, sing.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone, I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again, I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d, I stand and look at them long and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass: The Death-Bed Edition)
Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams, Now I wash the gum from your eyes, You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
O Me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish; Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d; Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me; Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined; The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here—that life exists, and identity; That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I am larger, better than I thought; I did not know I held so much goodness. All seems beautiful to me. Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me; Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed, and shall bless me.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Your very flesh shall be a great poem...
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Touch me, touch the palm of your hand to my body as I pass, Be not afraid of my body.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I will sleep no more but arise, You oceans that have been calm within me! how I feel you, fathomless, stirring, preparing unprecedented waves and storms.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles. You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, But I shall be good help to you nevertheless And filter and fiber your blood. Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one place search another, I stop some where waiting for you
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I accept Time absolutely. It alone is without flaw, It alone rounds and completes all, That mystic baffling wonder.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless, Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done, Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best. Night, sleep, and the stars.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I will You, in all, Myself, with promise to never desert you, To which I sign my name.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Are you the new person drawn toward me? To begin with, take warning - I am surely far different from what you suppose; Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal? Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover? Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy'd satisfaction? Do you think I am trusty and faithful? Do you see no further than this façade—this smooth and tolerant manner of me? Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man? Have you no thought, O dreamer, that it may be all maya, illusion?
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
There was never any more inception than there is now, Nor any more youth or age than there is now; And will never be any more perfection than there is now, Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
The untold want, by life and land ne'er granted, Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Loafe with me on the grass—loose the stop from your throat; Not words, not music or rhyme I want—not custom or lecture, not even the best; Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
storming, enjoying, planning, loving, cautioning, Backing and filling, appearing and disappearing, I tread day and night such roads.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Clear and sweet is my soul, clear and sweet is all that is not my soul.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
The question, O me! so sad, recurring - What good amid these, O me, O life? That you are here - that life exists and identity, that the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
Walt Whitman (The Leaves of Grass)
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems, You shall possess the good of the earth and sun.... there are millions of suns left, You shall no longer take things at second or third hand.... nor look through the eyes of the dead.... nor feed on the spectres in books, You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition)
re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency, not only in its words, but in the silent lines of its lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes, and in every motion and joint of your body. [From the preface to Leaves Grass]
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Agonies are one of my changes of garments.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition)
Unscrew the locks from the doors ! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs !
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Only themselves understand themselves and the like of themselves, As souls only understand souls.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
A blade of grass is the journeywork of the stars
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I believe in the flesh and the appetites; Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle. Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch’d from; The scent of these arm-pits, aroma finer than prayer; This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I refuse putting from me the best that I am.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
TO the States or any one of them, or any city of the States, Resist much, obey little, Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved, Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever after-ward resumes its liberty.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I am larger, better than I thought; I did not know I held so much goodness.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
The sum of all known value and respect, I add up in you, whoever you are.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Of Equality--as if it harm'd me, giving others the same chances and rights as myself--as if it were not indispensable to my own rights that others possess the same.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up - for you the flag is flung - for you the bugle trills, For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths - for you the shores a-crowding, For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head! It is some dream that on the deck, You've fallen cold and dead. My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still, My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will, The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done, From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won; Exult O shores, and ring O bells! But I with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
All beauty comes from beautiful blood and a beautiful brain. If the greatnesses are in conjunction in a man or woman it is enough...the fact will prevail through the universe...but the gaggery and gilt of a million years will not prevail. Who troubles himself about his ornaments or fluency is lost. This is what you shall so: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body...
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Stand up for the Crazy and Stupid
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I wear my hat as I please, indoors or out.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
For we cannot tarry here, We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger, We, the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend, Pioneers! O pioneers!
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral drest in his shroud.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Copulation is no more foul to me than death is.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition)
Camerado, I give you my hand! I give you my love more precious than money, I give you myself before preaching or law; Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
Walt Whitman
Thought Of equality- as if it harm'd me, giving others the same chances and rights as myself- as if it were not indispensable to my own rights that others possess the same.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
My spirit has pass'd in compassion and determination around the whole earth. I have look'd for equals and lovers an found them ready for me in all lands, I think some divine rapport has equalized me with them
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Why should I wish to see God better than this day? I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then, In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass; I find letters from God dropped in the street, and every one is signed by God's name, And I leave them where they are, for I know that others will punctually come forever and ever.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I sing the body electric, The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them, They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them, And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Press close, bare-bosomed Night! Press close, magnetic, nourishing Night! Night of south winds! Night of the large, few stars! Still, nodding Night! Mad, naked, Summer Night! from Strophe 21, "Song of Myself
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
You have not known what you are--you have slumber'd upon yourself all your life; Your eye-lids have been the same as closed most of the time; What you have done returns already in mockeries; Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in mockeries, what is their return? The mockeries are not you; Underneath them, and within them, I see you lurk;
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I swear I will never mention love or death inside a house, And I swear I never will translate myself at all, only to him or her who privately stays with me in the open air.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
All music is what awakes within us when we are reminded by the instruments; It is not the violins or the clarinets - It is not the beating of the drums - Nor the score of the baritone singing his sweet romanza; not that of the men's chorus, Nor that of the women's chorus - It is nearer and farther than they
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
There was a child went forth every day, And the first object he looked upon, that object he became...
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
And I or you pocketless of a dime, may purchase the pick of the earth.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash'd babe, and am not contained between my hat and my boots,
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Oxen that rattle the yoke and chain or halt in the leafy shade, what is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I do not ask who you are, that is not important to me,   You can do nothing and be nothing but what I will infold you.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning, How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn'd over upon me, And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart, And reach'd till you felt my beard, and reach'd till you held my feet.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass (1855 First Edition Text))
I believe that much unseen is also here.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Why should I be afraid to trust myself to you? I am not afraid, I have been well brought forward by you...
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls." -from "Song of the Open Road
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
WOMEN sit, or move to and fro — some old, some young; The young are beautiful — but the old are more beautiful than the young.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I exist as I am, that is enough...
Walt Whitman
Once I passed through a populous city imprinting my brain for future use with its shows, architecture, customs, traditions, Yet now of all that city I remember only a woman I Casually met there who detained me for love of me, Day by day and night by night we were together—all else Has long been forgotten by me, I remember I say only that woman who passionately clung To me, Again we wander, we love, we separate again, Again she holds me by the hand, I must not go, I see her close beside me with silent lips sad and tremulous.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
This is the female form, vapor, A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot, It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction, I am drawn by its breath as if I were no more than a helpless vapor, all falls aside but myself and it, Books, art, religion, time, the visible and solid earth, and what was expected of heavaen or fear'd of hell, are now consumed, Mad filament, ungovernable shoots play out of it, the response likewise ungovernable...
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Solitary the thrush, The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements, Sings by himself a song. Song of the bleeding throat!
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Se è tardi a trovarmi, insisti, se non ci sono in un posto, cerca in un altro, perché io son fermo da qualche parte ad aspettare te.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Do you guess I have some intricate purpose? Well I have, for the Fourth-month showers have, and the mica on the side of a rock has. Do you take it I would astonish? Does the daylight astonish? does the early redstart twittering through the woods? Do I astonish more than they? This hour I tell things in confidence, I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is myself, / And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or ten / million years, / I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
not one escaped to tell the fall of Alamo, The hundred & fifty are dumb yet at Alamo.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
O you youths, Western youths, So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship, Plain I see you Western youths, see you tramping with the foremost, Pioneers! O pioneers!
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Behold the day-break! I awaken you by sitting on your chest and purring in your face, I stir you with muscular paw-prods, I rouse you with toe-bites, Walt, you have slept enough, why don't you get up?" (From Meow of Myself, from LEAVES OF CATNIP)
Henry N. Beard (Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse)
The poet is individual—he is complete in himself: the others are as good as he; only he sees it, and they do not.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
You can never know where I am or what I am, But I am good company to you nonetheless, And really do regret I broke your inkwell." (From Meow of Myself, from LEAVES OF CATNIP)
Henry N. Beard (Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse)
I see the cliffs, glaciers, torrents, valleys of Switzerland - I mark the long winters and the isolation.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Gliding o’er all, through all,Through Nature, Time, and Space, As a ship on the waters advancing, The voyage of the soul—not life alone, Death, many deaths I’ll sing.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Of all the earth her heart most full of sorrow because most full of love.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Agonies are one of my changes of garments, I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person, My hurts turn livid upon me as I lean on a cane and observe.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Passing stranger! You do not know how longingly I look upon you, You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream,) I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you, All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured, You grew up with me, were a boy with me, or a girl with me, I ate with you, and slept with you—your body has become not yours only, nor left my body mine only, You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass—you take of my back, breast, hands, in return, I am not to speak to you—I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone, I am to wait—I do not doubt I am to meet you again, I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
Walt Whitman
I situate myself, and seat myself, And where you recline I shall recline, For every armchair belonging to you as good as belongs to me. I loaf and curl up my tail I yawn and loaf at my ease after rolling in the catnip patch." (From Meow of Myself, from LEAVES OF CATNIP)
Henry N. Beard (Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse)
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with such applause in the lecture room, How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick; Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself, In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I swear I begin to see the meaning of these things. It is not the earth, it is not America, who is so great, it is I who am great or to be great…
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever afterward resumes its liberty.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass (Illustrated))
Now understand me well--it is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary. [from "Song of the Open Road"]
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
All truths wait in all things, They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it, They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon, The insignificant is as big to me as any, (What is less or more than a touch?)” -from "Song of Myself
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Be composed--be at ease with me--I am Walt Whitman, liberal and lusty as Nature, Not till the sun excludes you do I exclude you, Not till the waters refuse to glisten for you and the leaves to rustle for you, do my words refuse to glisten and rustle for you.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
What shall I give? and which are my miracles? 2. Realism is mine--my miracles--Take freely, Take without end--I offer them to you wherever your feet can carry you or your eyes reach. 3. Why! who makes much of a miracle? As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water, Or stand under trees in the woods, Or talk by day with any one I love--or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, Or sit at the table at dinner with my mother, Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon, Or animals feeding in the fields, Or birds--or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, Or the wonderfulness of the sundown--or of stars shining so quiet and bright, Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring; Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best--mechanics, boatmen, farmers, Or among the savans--or to the _soiree_--or to the opera. Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery, Or behold children at their sports, Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman, Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial, Or my own eyes and figure in the glass; These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, The whole referring--yet each distinct and in its place. 4. To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, Every inch of space is a miracle, Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, Every cubic foot of the interior swarms with the same; Every spear of grass--the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them, All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles. To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion of the waves--the ships, with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
he cleanest expression is that which finds no sphere worthy of itself and makes one
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Somehow I have been stunned. Stand back! Give me a little time beyond my cuffed head and slumbers and dreams and gaping, I discover myself on the verge of the usual mistake.
Walt Whitman
Sun so generous it shall be you- Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I announce adhesiveness-I say it shall be limitless, unloosen'd; I say you shall yet find the friend you were looking for.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you." -from "To You
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900. To You WHOEVER you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands; Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, Your true Soul and Body appear before me, They stand forth out of affairs—out of commerce, shops, law, science, work, forms, clothes, the house, medicine, print, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying. Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem; I whisper with my lips close to your ear, I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you. O I have been dilatory and dumb; I should have made my way straight to you long ago; I should have blabb’d nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you. I will leave all, and come and make the hymns of you; None have understood you, but I understand you; None have done justice to you—you have not done justice to yourself; None but have found you imperfect—I only find no imperfection in you; None but would subordinate you—I only am he who will never consent to subordinate you; I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself. Painters have painted their swarming groups, and the centre figure of all; From the head of the centre figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color’d light; But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus of gold-color’d light; From my hand, from the brain of every man and woman it streams, effulgently flowing forever. O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you! You have not known what you are—you have slumber’d upon yourself all your life; Your eye-lids have been the same as closed most of the time; What you have done returns already in mockeries; (Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in mockeries, what is their return?) The mockeries are not you; Underneath them, and within them, I see you lurk; I pursue you where none else has pursued you; Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the accustom’d routine, if these conceal you from others, or from yourself, they do not conceal you from me; The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure complexion, if these balk others, they do not balk me, The pert apparel, the deform’d attitude, drunkenness, greed, premature death, all these I part aside. There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied in you; There is no virtue, no beauty, in man or woman, but as good is in you; No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you; No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits for you. As for me, I give nothing to any one, except I give the like carefully to you; I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God, sooner than I sing the songs of the glory of you. Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard! These shows of the east and west are tame, compared to you; These immense meadows—these interminable rivers—you are immense and interminable as they; These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution—you are he or she who is master or mistress over them, Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution. The hopples fall from your ankles—you find an unfailing sufficiency; Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the rest, whatever you are promulges itself; Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided, nothing is scanted; Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are picks its way.
Walt Whitman
This is what you should do: Love the earth and sun and animals, Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, Stand up for the stupid and crazy, Devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, Argue not concerning God, Have patience and indulgence toward the people... Reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, Dismiss what insults your very soul, And your flesh shall become a great poem.
Walt Whitman
A heroic person walks at his ease through and out of that custom or precedent or authority that suits him not.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I exist as I am, that is enough,
Walt Whitman (The Complete Walt Whitman: Drum-Taps, Leaves of Grass, Patriotic Poems, Complete Prose Works, The Wound Dresser, Letters)
The new rule shall rule as the soul rules, and as the love and justice and equality that are in the soul rule.
Walt Whitman
The noisy jay swoops by and reviles me, he complains of my meow and my malingering. I too am not a bit subdued, I too am uncontrollable, I sound my splenetic yowl over the roof of the house." (From Meow of Myself, from LEAVES OF CATNIP)
Henry N. Beard (Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse)
Allons! the road is before us! It is safe—I have tried it—my own feet have tried it well—be not detain’d! Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d! Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d! Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher! Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law. Camerado, I give you my hand! I give you my love more precious than money, I give you myself before preaching or law; Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Camerado, this is no book, Who touches this touches a man, (Is it night? are we here together alone?) It is I you hold and who holds you, I spring from the pages into your arms—decease calls me forth.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Dismiss whatever insults your own soul; And your very flesh shall be a great poem…
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood
Walt Whitman
It is not they who give the life, it is you who give the life, Leaves are not more shed from the trees, or trees from the earth, than they are shed out of you.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
See ever so far, there is limitless space outside of that, Count ever so much, there is limitless time around that." -from "Song of Myself
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night, In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me, And his arm lay lightly around my breast - and that night I was happy
Walt Whitman
Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? have you reckon’d the earth much? Have you practis’d so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems? Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems, You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,) You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books, You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
All truths wait in all things, They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it, They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon, The insignificant is as big to me as any, (What is less or more than a touch?) Logic and sermons never convince, The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
WHAT am I, after all, but a child, pleas’d with the sound of my own name? repeating it over and over; I stand apart to hear—it never tires me. To you, your name also; Did you think there was nothing but two or three pronunciations in the sound of your name?
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
We consider bibles and religions divine—I do not say they are not divine, I say they have all grown out of you, and may grow out of you still, It is not they who give the life, it is you who give the life, Leaves are not more shed from the trees, or trees from the earth, than they are shed out of you." -from "A Song of Occupations
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Whoever you are holding me now in hand, Without one thing all will be useless, I give you fair warning before you attempt me further, I am not what you supposed, but far different." -from "Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Give me such shows--give me the streets of Manhattan!
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
Walt Whitman (The Complete Walt Whitman: Drum-Taps, Leaves of Grass, Patriotic Poems, Complete Prose Works, The Wound Dresser, Letters)
Urge and urge and urge, Always the procreant urge of the world.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition)
It is no discredit to Walt Whitman that he wrote Leaves of Grass, only that he did not burn it afterwards.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Have you heard that it was good to gain the day? I also say it is good to fall, battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
henceforth I will go celebrate any thing I see or am, And sing and laugh and deny nothing.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Life breaks into beauty again and we realize that man may bring hell itself into the world, but that Nature ever patiently waits to be his natural paradise.
Walt Whitman (The Complete Walt Whitman: Drum-Taps, Leaves of Grass, Patriotic Poems, Complete Prose Works, The Wound Dresser, Letters)
He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher." -from "Song of Myself
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Some are baffled, but that one is not--that one knows me. Ah lover and perfect equal, I meant that you should discover me so by faint indirections.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
HAVE you learned lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned the great lessons of those who rejected you, and braced themselves against   you? or who treated you with contempt, or  disputed the passage with you? Have you had no practice to receive opponents when they come?
Walt Whitman
It avails not, time nor place--distance avails not, I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations hence, Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt, Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd, Just as you are refresh'd by the gladness of the river and the bright flow, I was refresh'd, Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift current, I stood yet was hurried, Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships and the thick-stemm'd pipes of steamboats, I look'd.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana solitary in a wide flat space, Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near, I know very well I could not." - from "I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
In all people I see myself, none more and not one a barleycorn less, And the good or bad I say of myself I say of them. And I know I am solid and sound, To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow, All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means. And I know I am deathless. I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter's compass, I know I shall not pass like a child's carlacue cut with a burnt stick at night.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Great is life...and real and mystical...wherever and whoever, Great is death...Sure as life holds all parts together, death holds all parts together; Sure as the stars return again after they merge on the light, death is as great as life.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I have no chair, no church, no philosophy, I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange, But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll, My left hand hooking you round the waist, My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the public road. Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you, You must travel it for yourself.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
There was a child went forth every day, And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became, And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day, Or for many years or stretching cycles of years. The early lilacs became part of this child, And grass and white and red morning glories, and white and red clover, And the song of the phoebe-bird, And the Third-month lambs and the sow's pink-faint litter, and the mare's foal and the cow's calf, And the noisy brood of the barnyard or by the mire of the pond-side, And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there, and the beautiful curious liquid, And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads, all became part of him.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
The souls moving along ... are they invisible while the least atom of the stones is visible?
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass: The Original 1855 Edition By: Walt Whitman)
Blind loving wrestling touch, sheath'd hooded sharp-tooth'd touch! Did it make you ache so, leaving me?
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I exist as I am, that is enough, If no other in the world be aware I sit content, And if each and all be aware I sit content.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass: The Original 1855 Edition (Illustrated))
I am enamour'd of growing out-doors, Of men that live among cattle or taste of the ocean or woods,
Walt Whitman (The Complete Walt Whitman: Drum-Taps, Leaves of Grass, Patriotic Poems, Complete Prose Works, The Wound Dresser, Letters)
what is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.
Walt Whitman (The Complete Walt Whitman: Drum-Taps, Leaves of Grass, Patriotic Poems, Complete Prose Works, The Wound Dresser, Letters)
Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass (Illustrated))
What is a man anyhow? what am I? what are you?
Walt Whitman (The Complete Walt Whitman: Drum-Taps, Leaves of Grass, Patriotic Poems, Complete Prose Works, The Wound Dresser, Letters)
Or may-be one who is puzzled at me. As if I were not puzzled at myself!
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Speed on my book! spread your white sails my little bark athwart the       imperious waves,
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass (Illustrated))
I visit the orchards of God and look at the spheric product And look at quintillions ripened, and look at quintillions green.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
إني أرى شيئا من الله كل ساعة من الساعات الأربع والعشرين وكل لحظة في وجوه الرجال والنساء أرى الله وفي وجهي أمام المرآة. فإنني أرى رسائل من الله ملقاة في الشوارع وكل رسالة موقعة من الله وأنا أترك الرسائل مكانها فأنا أعلم أنني حيثما حللت فإن رسائل أخرى ستظل تجيء ٬ إلى الأبد
Walt Whitman
Have you ever loved the body of a woman? Have you ever loved the body of a man? Do you not see that these are exactly the same to all in all nations and all times all over the earth?
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Agonies are one of my changes of garments, I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person, My hurts turn livid upon me as I lean on a cane and observe.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab and my loitering. I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my BARBARIC YAWP over the roofs of the world
Walt Whitman
A Glimpse" A glimpse through an interstice caught, Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark’d seated in a corner, Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand, A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking and oath and smutty jest, There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little, perhaps not a word.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Have the past struggles succeeded? What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? Nature? Now understand me well—it is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary." -from "Songs of the Open Road
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
The American bards shall be marked for generosity and affection and for encouraging competitors… . The great poets are also to be known by the absence in them of tricks and by the justification of perfect personal candor… . How beautiful is candor! All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Great is language . . . . it is the mightiest of the sciences, It is the fulness and color and form and diversity of the earth . . . . and of men and women . . . . and of all qualities and processes; It is greater than wealth . . . . it is greater than buildings or ships or religions or paintings or music.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
TO FOREIGN LANDS. I heard that you ask’d for something to prove this puzzle the New World, And to define America, her athletic Democracy, Therefore I send you my poems that you behold in them what you wanted.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv’d with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow’d, And else when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d, still I was not happy, But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn, When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light, When I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing bathed, laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise, And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way coming, O then I was happy, O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish’d me more, and the beautiful day pass’d well, And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came my friend, And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores, I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me whispering to congratulate me, For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night, In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me, And his arm lay lightly around my breast – and that night I was happy.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
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.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Where joyous full of faith, spreading white sails, She cleaves the ether mid the sparkle and the foam of day, or under many a star at night, By sailors young and old haply will I, a reminiscence of the land, be read,
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass: The Death Bed Edition)
O past! O happy life! O songs of joy! In the air, in the woods, over fields, Loved! loved! loved! loved! loved! But my mate no more, no more with me! We two together no more." -from "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I swear to you the architects shall appear without fall, I swear to you they will understand you and justify you, The greatest among them shall be he who best knows you, and encloses all and is faithful to all, He and the rest shall not forget you, they shall perceive that you are not an iota less than they, You shall be fully glorified in them.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
When I Read the Book" When I read the book, the biography famous, And is this then (said I) what the author calls a man's life? And so will some one when I am dead and gone write my life? (As if any man really knew aught of my life, Why even I myself I often think know little or nothing of my real life, Only a few hints, a few diffused faint clews and indirections I seek for my own use to trace out here.)
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Stronger Lessons Have you learn'd lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learn'd great lessons from those who reject you, and brace themselves against you? or who treat you with contempt, or dispute the passage with you?
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Will you seek afar off? You surely come back at last, In things best known to you finding the best or as good as the best, In folks nearest to you finding also the sweetest and strongest and lovingest, Happiness not in another place, but this place... not for another hour, but this hour
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
One's-Self I Sing One's-self I sing, a simple separate person, Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse. Of physiology from top to toe I sing, Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the Muse, I say the Form complete is worthier far, The Female equally with the Male I sing. Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power, Cheerful, for freest action form'd under the laws divine, The Modern Man I sing.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,  Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,  Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,  Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,  Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.  Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with      linguists and contenders,  I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
The greatest poet hardly knows pettiness or triviality. If he breathes into any thing that was before thought small it dilates with the grandeur and life of the universe. He is a seer ... he is individual... he is complete in himself... the others are as good as he, only he sees it and they do not.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
When we read certain portions of “Leaves of Grass” we seem to see a vast phalanx of Great Companions passing for ever along the cosmic roads, stalwart Pioneers of the Universe. There are superb young men, athletic girls, splendid and savage old men—for the weak seem to have perished by the roadside.
H. Havelock Ellis
Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” from Leaves of Grass. I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d, I stand and look at them long and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth. So they show their relations to me and I accept them, They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their possession.
Tom Ryan (Following Atticus)
And I know I am solid and sound, To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow, All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means. And I know I am deathless, I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter’s compass, I know I shall not pass like a child’s carlacueg cut with a burnt stick at night. I know I am august, I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood, I see that the elementary laws never apologize, I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by after all. I exist as I am, that is enough, If no other in the world be aware I sit content, And if each and all be aware I sit content. One world is aware, and by far the largest to me, and that is myself, And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years, I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait. My foothold is tenoned and mortised in granite, I laugh at what you call dissolution, And I know the amplitude of time. I am the poet of the body, And I am the poet of the soul. The pleasures of heaven are with me, and the pains of hell are with me, The first I graft and increase upon myself.... the latter I translate into a new tongue.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Listen! I will be honest with you, I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes, These are the days that must happen to you: You shall not heap up what is call’d riches, You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve, You but arrive at the city to which you were destin’d, you hardly settle yourself to satisfaction before you are call’d by an irresistible call to depart, You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you, What beckonings of love you receive you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting, You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach’d hands toward you." -from "Song of the Open Road
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Dazzling and tremendous how quick the sunrise would kill me, If I could not now and always send sunrise out of me. We also ascend dazzling and tremendous as the sun, We found our own my soul in the calm and cool of the daybreak. My voice goes after what my eyes cannot reach, With the twirl of my tongue I encompass worlds and volumes of worlds. Speech is the twin of my vision.... it is unequal to measure itself. It provokes me forever, It says sarcastically, Walt, you understand enough.... why don’t you let it out then? Come now I will not be tantalized.... you conceive too much of articulation. Do you not know how the buds beneath are folded? Waiting in gloom protected by frost, The dirt receding before my prophetical screams, I underlying causes to balance them at last, My knowledge my live parts.... it keeping tally with the meaning of things, Happiness.... which whoever hears me let him or her set out in search of this day.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall, The dark threw its patches down upon me also, The best I had done seem’d to me blank and suspicious, My great thoughts as I supposed them, were they not in reality meagre? Nor is it you alone who know what it is to be evil, I am he who knew what it was to be evil, I too knitted the old knot of contrariety, Blabb’d, blush’d, resented, lied, stole, grudg’d, Had guile, anger, lust, hot wishes I dared not speak, Was wayward, vain, greedy, shallow, sly, cowardly, malignant, The wolf, the snake, the hog, not wanting in me, The cheating look, the frivolous word, the adulterous wish, not wanting, Refusals, hates, postponements, meanness, laziness, none of these wanting, Was one with the rest, the days and haps of the rest, Was call’d by my nighest name by clear loud voices of young men as they saw me approaching or passing, Felt their arms on my neck as I stood, or the negligent leaning of their flesh against me as I sat, Saw many I loved in the street or ferry-boat or public assembly, yet never told them a word, Lived the same life with the rest, the same old laughing, gnawing, sleeping, Play’d the part that still looks back on the actor or actress, The same old role, the role that is what we make it, as great as we like, Or as small as we like, or both great and small." -from "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
The Last Invocation At the last, tenderly, From the walls of the powerful, fortress’d house, From the clasp of the knitted locks—from the keep of the well-closed doors, Let me be wafted. Let me glide noiselessly forth; With the key of softness unlock the locks—with a whisper, Set ope the doors, O Soul! Tenderly! be not impatient! (Strong is your hold, O mortal flesh! Strong is your hold, O love.)
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Come, said my Soul Such verses for my Body let us write, (for we are one,) That should I after death invisibly return, Or, long, long hence, in other spheres, There to some group of mates the chants resuming, (Tallying Earth’s soil, trees, winds, tumultuous waves,) Ever with pleas’d smiles I may keep on, Ever and ever yet the verses owning — as, first, I here and now, Signing for Soul and Body, set to them my name,
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands, Even now your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, Your true soul and body appear before me, They stand forth out of affairs, out of commerce, shops, work, farms, clothes, the house, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying." -from "To You
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Carpe Diem By Edna Stewart Shakespeare, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman did it, why can't I? The words of Horace, his laconic phrase. Does it amuse me or frighten me? Does it rub salt in an old wound? Horace, Shakespeare, Robert Frost and Walt Whitman my loves, we've all had a taste of the devils carpe of forbidden food. My belly is full of mourning over life mishaps of should have's, missed pleasure, and why was I ever born? The leaf falls from the trees from which it was born in and cascade down like a feather that tumbles and toil in the wind. One gush! It blows away. It’s trampled, raked, burned and finally turns to ashes which fades away like the leaves of grass. Did Horace get it right? Trust in nothing? The shortness of Life is seventy years, Robert Frost and Whitman bared more, but Shakespeare did not. Butterflies of Curiosities allures me more. Man is mortal, the fruit is ripe. Seize more my darling! Enjoy the day.
Edna Stewart (The Call of the Christmas Pecan Tree)
We descend upon you and all things—we arrest you all; We realize the soul only by you, you faithful solids and fluids; Through you color, form, location, sublimity, ideality; Through you every proof, comparison, and all the suggestions and determinations of ourselves. You have waited, you always wait, you dumb, beautiful ministers! you novices! We receive you with free sense at last, and are insatiate henceforward; Not you any more shall be able to foil us, or withhold yourselves from us; We use you, and do not cast you aside—we plant you permanently within us; "We fathom you not—we love you—there is perfection in you also; You furnish your parts toward eternity; Great or small, you furnish your parts toward the soul.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
O something unprov’d! something in a trance! O madness amorous! O trembling! O to escape utterly from others’ anchors and holds! To drive free! to love free! to dash reckless and dangerous! To court destruction with taunts—with invitations! To ascend—to leap to the heavens of the love indicated to me! To rise thither with my inebriate Soul! To be lost, if it must be so! To feed the remainder of life with one hour of fulness and freedom! With one brief hour of madness and joy.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
PASSING stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you, You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream,) I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you, All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured, You grew up with me, were a boy with me, or a girl with me, 5 I ate with you, and slept with you—your body has become not yours only, nor left my body mine only, You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass—you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return, I am not to speak to you—I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone, I am to wait—I do not doubt I am to meet you again, I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
But I am not the sea nor the red sun, I am not the wind with girlish laughter, Not the immense wind which strengthens, not the wind which lashes, Not the spirit that ever lashes its own body to terror and death, But I am that which unseen comes and sings, sings, sings, Which babbles in brooks and scoots in showers on the land, Which the birds know in the woods mornings and evenings, And the shore-sands know and the hissing wave, and that banner and pennant, Aloft there flapping and flapping.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
He is a type of our best — our rarest. Electrical, I was going to say, beyond anyone, perhaps, ever was: charged, surcharged. Not a founder of new philosophies — not of that build. But a towering magnetic presence, filling the air about with light, warmth, inspiration. A great intellect, penetrating, in ways (on his field) the best of our time — to be long kept, cherished, passed on... It should not be surprising that I am drawn to Ingersoll, for he is 'Leaves of Grass.' He lives, embodies, the individuality I preach. 'Leaves of Grass' utters individuality, the most extreme, uncompromising. I see in Bob the noblest specimen —American-flavored—pure out of the soil, spreading, giving, demanding light. {Whitman's thought on his good friend, the great Robert Ingersoll}
Walt Whitman
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose. Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune, Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms, Strong and content I travel the open road. The earth, that is sufficient, I do not want the constellations any nearer, I know they are very well where they are, I know they suffice for those who belong to them. (Still here I carry my old delicious burdens, I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go, I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them, I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)" -from "Song of the Open Road
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
My respiration and inspiration.... the beating of my heart.... the passing of blood and air through my lungs, The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and darkcolored sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn, The sound of the belched words of my voice.... words loosed to the eddies of the wind, A few light kisses.... a few embraces.... a reaching around of arms, The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag, The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hillsides, The feeling of health.... the full-noon trill.... the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun. Have you reckoned a thousand acres much? Have you reckoned the earth much? Have you practiced so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
The morning grass was damp and cool with dew. My yellow rain slicker must have looked sharp contrasted against the bright green that spring provided. I must have looked like an early nineteenth century romantic poet (Walt Whitman, perhaps?) lounging around a meadow celebrating nature and the glory of my existence. But don’t make this about me. Don’t you dare. This was about something bigger than me (by at least 44 feet). I was there to unselfishly throw myself in front of danger (nothing is scarier than a parked bulldozer), in the hopes of saving a tree, and also procuring a spot in a featured article in my local newspaper. It’s not about celebrity for me, it’s about showing that I care. It’s not enough to just quietly go about caring anymore. No, now we need the world to see that we care. I was just trying to do my part to show I was doing my part. But no journalists or TV news stations came to witness my selfless heroics. In fact, nobody came at all, not even Satan’s henchmen (the construction crew). People might scoff and say, “But it was Sunday.” Yes, it was Sunday. But if you’re a hero you can’t take a day off. I’d rather be brave a day early than a day late. Most cowards show up late to their destiny. But I always show up early, and quite often I leave early too, but at least I have the guts to lay down my life for something I’d die for. Now I only laid down my life for a short fifteen-minute nap, but I can forever hold my chin high as I loudly tell anyone who will listen to my exploits as an unsung hero (not that I haven’t written dozens of songs dedicated to my bravery). Most superheroes hide anonymously behind masks. That’s cowardly to me. I don’t wear a mask. And the only reason I’m anonymous is that journalists don’t respond to my requests for interviews, and when I hold press conferences nobody shows up, not even my own mother. The world doesn’t know all the good I’ve done for the world. And that’s fine with me. Not really. But if I have to go on being anonymous to make this world a better place, I will. But that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about changing my hours of altruism from 7-8 am Sunday mornings to 9-5 am Monday through Friday, and only doing deeds of greatness in crowded locations.
Jarod Kintz (Gosh, I probably shouldn't publish this.)
On the beach at night alone, As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song, As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes and of the future. A vast similitude interlocks all, All distances of place however wide, All distances of time, All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different, All nations, All identities that have existed or may exist All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future, This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann'd, And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
What will be will be well, for what is is well, To take interest is well, and not to take interest shall be well. The domestic joys, the daily housework or business, the building of houses, are not phantasms, they have weight, form, location, Farms, profits, crops, markets, wages, government, are none of them phantasms, The difference between sin and goodness is no delusion, The earth is not an echo, man and his life and all the things of his life are well-consider'd. You are not thrown to the winds, you gather certainly and safely around yourself, Yourself! yourself! yourself, for ever and ever!
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Even while you should think you had unquestionably caught me, behold! Already you see I have escaped from you. For it is not for what I have put into it that I have written this book, Nor is it by reading it you will acquire it, Nor do those know me best who admire me and vauntingly praise me, Nor will the candidates for my love (unless at most a very few) prove victorious, Nor will my poems do good only, they will do just as much evil, perhaps more, For all is useless without that which you may guess at many times and not hit, that which I hinted at; Therefore release me and depart on your way.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
ON the beach at night alone, As the old mother sways her to and fro, singing her husky song, As I watch the bright stars shining—I think a thought of the clef of the universes, and of the future. A VAST SIMILITUDE interlocks all, All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets, comets, asteroids, All the substances of the same, and all that is spiritual upon the same, All distances of place, however wide, All distances of time—all inanimate forms, All Souls—all living bodies, though they be ever so different, or in different worlds, All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes—the fishes, the brutes, All men and women—me also; All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages; All identities that have existed, or may exist, on this globe, or any globe; All lives and deaths—all of the past, present, future; This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann'd, and shall forever span them, and compactly hold them, and enclose them.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
What do you think has become of the young and old men? And what do you think has become of the women and children? They are alive and well somewhere; The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, And ceased the moment life appeared. All goes onward and outward.... and nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier. Has any one supposed it lucky to be born? I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it. I pass death with the dying, and birth with the newwashed babe.... and am not contained between my hat and boots, And peruse manifold objects, no two alike, and every one good, The earth good, and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good. I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth, I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and fathomless as myself; They do not know how immortal, but I know.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
O me! O life! of the questions of these recurring, Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill'd with the foolish, Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew'd, Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me, Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined, The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
HOW solemn, as one by one, As the ranks returning, all worn and sweaty—as the men file by where I stand; As the faces, the masks appear—as I glance at the faces, studying the masks; (As I glance upward out of this page, studying you, dear friend, whoever you are;) How solemn the thought of my whispering soul, to each in the ranks, and to you; I see behind each mask, that wonder, a kindred soul; O the bullet could never kill what you really are, dear friend, Nor the bayonet stab what you really are: ... The soul! yourself I see, great as any, good as the best, Waiting, secure and content, which the bullet could never kill, Nor the bayonet stab, O friend!
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
It is not to diffuse you that you were born of your mother and father, it is to identify you, It is not that you should be undecided, but that you should be decided, Something long preparing and formless is arrived and form'd in you, You are henceforth secure, whatever comes or goes. The threads that were spun are gather'd, the weft crosses the warp, the pattern is systematic. The preparations have every one been justified, The orchestra have sufficiently tuned their instruments, the baton has given the signal. The guest that was coming, he waited long, he is now housed, He is one of those who are beautiful and happy, he is one of those that to look upon and be with is enough.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men—go freely with powerful uneducated persons, and with the young, and with the mothers of families—re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency, not only in its words, but in the silent lines of its lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes, and in every motion and joint of your body. The poet shall not spend his time in unneeded work. He shall know that the ground is already plough'd and manured; others may not know it, but he shall. He shall go directly to the creation. His trust shall master the trust of everything he touches—and shall master all attachment.
Walt Whitman (The Complete Works of Walt Whitman: Leaves Of Grass, Drum-Taps, The Patriotic Poems, The Wound Dresser and More (89 Books and Papers With Active Table of Contents))
the swarms of cringers, suckers, doughfaces, lice of politics, planners of sly involutions for their own preferment to city offices or state legislatures or the judiciary or congress or the presidency, obtain a response of love and natural deference from the people whether they get the offices or no . . . . when it is better to be a bound booby and rogue in office at a high salary than the poorest free mechanic or farmer with his hat unmoved from his head and firm eyes and a candid and generous heart . . . . and when servility by town or state or the federal government or any oppression on a large scale or small scale can be tried on without its own punishment following duly after in exact proportion against the smallest chance of escape . . . . or rather when all life and all the souls of men and women are discharged from any part of the earth—then only shall the instinct of liberty be discharged from that part of the earth.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
These are the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me, If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing or next to nothing, If they do not enclose everything they are next to nothing, If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing, If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing. This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is, This is the common air that bathes the globe. This is the breath of laws and songs and behaviour, This is the tasteless water of souls.... this is the true sustenance, It is for the illiterate.... it is for the judges of the supreme court . . . . it is for the federal capitol and the state capitols, It is for the admirable communes of literary men and composers and singers and lecturers and engineers and savans, It is for the endless races of working people and farmers and seamen. This is the trill of a thousand clear cornets and scream of the octave flute and strike of triangles. I play not a march for victors only.... I play great marches for conquered and slain persons. Have you heard that it was good to gain the day? I also say it is good to fall.... battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)