Walt Whitman Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 316 quotes)
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.
All space, all time, The stars, the terrible perturbations of the suns, Swelling, collapsing, ending, serving their longer, shorter use, Fill'd with eidolons only. The noiseless myriads, The infinite oceans where the rivers empty, The separate countless free identities, like eyesight, The true realities, eidolons. Not this the world, Nor these the universes, they the universes, Purport and end, ever the permanent life of life, Eidolons, eidolons...
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. Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore,Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,To jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me, shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.
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.
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 the 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.
Song of myselfNow I will do nothing but listen, To accrue what I hear into this song, to let sounds contribute toward it. I hear bravuras of birds, bustle of growing wheat, gossip of flames, clack of sticks cooking my meals, I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice, I hear all sounds running together, combined, fused or following, Sounds of the city and sounds out of the city, sounds of the day and night, Talkative young ones to those that like them, the loud laugh of work-people at their meals, The angry base of disjointed friendship, the faint tones of the sick, The judge with hands tight to the desk, his pallid lips pronouncing a death-sentence, The heave'e'yo of stevedores unlading ships by the wharves, the refrain of the anchor-lifters, The ring of alarm-bells, the cry of fire, the whirr of swift-streaking engines and hose-carts with premonitory tinkles and color'd lights, The steam-whistle, the solid roll of the train of approaching cars, The slow march play'd at the head of the association marching two and two, (They go to guard some corpse, the flag-tops are draped with black muslin.) I hear the violoncello, ('tis the young man's heart's complaint,) I hear the key'd cornet, it glides quickly in through my ears, It shakes mad-sweet pangs through my belly and breast. I hear the chorus, it is a grand opera, Ah this indeed is music--this suits me.
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 touched from,The scent of these armpits aroma finer than prayer,This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds.