Walt Whitman

(Walter "Walt" Whitman)

Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
  • Born: May 31, 1819
  • Died: March 26, 1892
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Poet









Quote Topics Cited
… democracy, as it exists and practically works in America, with all its threatening evils, supplies a training school for making first-class men. It is life's gymnasium..fit for freedom’s athletes… Whatever we do not attain, we at any rate attain the experiences of the fight, the hardening of the strong campaign, and throb with currents of attempt at least. Democracies & Republics ;America, Americanism
He got badly hit in his leg and side at Fredericksburg that eventful Saturday, 13th of December. He lay the succeeding two days and nights helpless on the field, between the city and those grim terraces of batteries. His company and regiment had been compelled to leave him to his fate. To make matters worse, it happened he lay with his head slightly down hill, and could not help himself. At the end of some fifty hours he was brought off the field, with other wounded, under a flag of truce. I ask him how the rebels treated him as he lay during those two days and nights within reach of them -- whether they came to him -- whether they abused him? He answered that several of the rebels, soldiers and others, came to him at one time and another. A couple of them, who were together, spoke roughly and sarcastically, but nothing worse. One middle-aged man, however, who seemed to be moving around the field, among the dead and wounded, for benevolent purposes, came to him in a way he will never forget; he treated our soldier kindly, bound up his wounds, cheered him, gave him a couple of biscuits and a drink of whiskey and water, and asked him if he could eat some beef. War & Peace
I found the clerks mainly earnest, mainly honest, anxious to do the right thing — very hard working, very attentive. I do not refer to swell officials — the men who wear the decorations, get the fat salaries. I refer to the average clerks, the obscure crowd, who after all run the government: they are on the square. Bureaucracy
It is as great to be a woman as to be a man Equality & Equal Opportunity
The vast area of the second story of that noblest of Washington buildings, the Patent Office, is crowded close with rows of sick, badly wounded and dying soldiers. They are placed in three very large apartments. I have gone there many times. It is strange, solemn, and with all its features of suffering and death. War & Peace
There are deeds, crimes that may be forgiven. But this is not one of them. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
A great city is that which has the greatest men and women. Women
A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. Nature
After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains. Nature ;Business, Commerce & Finance ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor.
And I will show that nothing can happen more beautiful than death. Death
And there is no trade or employment but the young man following it may become a hero.
And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral drest in his shroud. Sympathy
And your very flesh shall be a great poem.
Be curious, not judgmental.
Behold I do not give lectures or a little charity, When I give I give myself.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.
Freedom - to walk free and own no superior. Freedom & Liberty
Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed. Nature
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.
Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you? Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.
Here or henceforward it is all the same to me, I accept Time absolutely. Time
I accept reality and dare not question it.
I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best. Religion & God
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars. Nature
I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep. Time
I celebrate myself, and sing myself. Inspiration
I exist as I am, that is enough.
I find no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones.
I have learned that to be with those I like is enough. Friendship
I heard what was said of the universe, heard it and heard it of several thousand years; it is middling well as far as it goes - but is that all?
I may be as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best. Religion & God
I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends. Humor
I say that democracy can never prove itself beyond cavil, until it founds and luxuriantly grows its own forms of art, poems, schools, theology, displacing all that exists, or that has been produced anywhere in the past, under opposite influences. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I say to mankind, Be not curious about God. For I, who am curious about each, am not curious about God - I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least. Religion & God
I see great things in baseball. It's our game - the American game. Sports & Athletics
If any thing is sacred, the human body is sacred.
If you done it, it ain't bragging.
In the confusion we stay with each other, happy to be together, speaking without uttering a single word.
Judging from the main portions of the history of the world, so far, justice is always in jeopardy. History
Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you. Inspiration
Let that which stood in front go behind, let that which was behind advance to the front, let bigots, fools, unclean persons, offer new propositions, let the old propositions be postponed.
Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.
Nothing can happen more beautiful than death. Death
Nothing endures but personal qualities.
Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.
O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you, you express me better than I can express myself. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Oh while I live, to be the ruler of life, not a slave, to meet life as a powerful conqueror, and nothing exterior to me will ever take command of me. Life
Other lands have their vitality in a few, a class, but we have it in the bulk of our people.
Produce great men, the rest follows.
Re-examine all that you have been told... dismiss that which insults your soul.
Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.
Simplicity is the glory of expression.
Speech is the twin of my vision, it is unequal to measure itself, it provokes me forever, it says sarcastically, Walt you contain enough, why don't you let it out then?
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?
The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The beautiful uncut hair of graves.
The beauty of independence, departure, actions that rely on themselves.
The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.
The future is no more uncertain than the present. Future
The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people.
The great city is that which has the greatest man or woman: if it be a few ragged huts, it is still the greatest city in the whole world.
The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it.
The real war will never get in the books. War & Peace
The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise man sees in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.
The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.
The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual.
The words of my book nothing, the drift of it everything.
There is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the wheeled universe.
There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.
There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius. Power
To die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.
To have great poets, there must be great audiences.
To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.
To the real artist in humanity, what are called bad manners are often the most picturesque and significant of all.
Viewed freely, the English language is the accretion and growth of every dialect, race, and range of time, and is both the free and compacted composition of all. Time
We convince by our presence. Inspiration
Whatever satisfies the soul is truth. Truth
When I give I give myself. Romantic
Whoever degrades another degrades me, And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.
Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?