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Walt Whitman

  • American poet
  • Born May 31, 1819
  • Died March 26, 1892

Walt Whitman (; May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. Mary Smith Whitall Costelloe argued: "You cannot really understand America without Walt Whitman, without Leaves of Grass ... He has expressed that civilization, 'up to date,' as he would say, and no student of the philosophy of history can do without him."


The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.




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?




Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.




The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.




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.




Nothing endures but personal qualities.




Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.




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.




In the confusion we stay with each other, happy to be together, speaking without uttering a single word.




Re-examine all that you have been told... dismiss that which insults your soul.




Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.




When I give I give myself.




The beauty of independence, departure, actions that rely on themselves.




The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual.




And there is no trade or employment but the young man following it may become a hero.




Judging from the main portions of the history of the world, so far, justice is always in jeopardy.




Simplicity is the glory of expression.

Simplicity is the glory of expression.




The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it.




A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.




And I will show that nothing can happen more beautiful than death.




Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.




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.




The real war will never get in the books.




All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor.




Freedom - to walk free and own no superior.




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.




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.




We convince by our presence.




The beautiful uncut hair of graves.




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.




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.




A great city is that which has the greatest men and women.




To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.




Be curious, not judgmental.




There is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the wheeled universe.




If you done it, it ain't bragging.



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