Walt Whitman Quotes (160 Quotes)








    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.






    I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash'd babe, and am not contained between my hat and my boots,


    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…


    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.

    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.

    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.

    To have great poets, there must be great audiences.

    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?

    Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.

    Character and personal force are the only investments worth anything

    A child said What is the grass fetching it to me with full hands.

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

    There was a child went forth everyday, And the first object he looked upon and received with wonder or pity or dread, 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 words of my book nothing, the drift of it everything.

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

    I dote on myself, there is that lot of me and all so luscious.

    Their manners, speech, dress, friendships, -- the freshness and candor of their physiognomy -- the picturesque looseness of their carriage -- their deathless attachment to freedom -- their aversion to anything indecorous or soft or mean -- the practical acknowledgment of the citizens of one state by the citizens of all other states -- the fierceness of their roused resentment -- their curiosity and welcome of novelty -- their self-esteem and wonderful sympathy -- their susceptibility to a slight -- the air they have of persons who never knew how it felt to stand in the presence of superiors -- the fluency of their speech -- their delight in music, a sure symptom of manly tenderness and native elegance of soul -- their good temper and open-handedness -- the terrible significance of their elections, the President's taking off his hat to them, not they to him -- these too are unrhymed poetry. It awaits the gigantic and generous treatment worthy of it.

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

    I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.

    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.

    Future years will never know the seething hell and the black infernal background, the countless minor scenes and interiors of the secession war and it is best they should not. The real war will never get in the books.

    Peace is always beautiful, The myth of heaven indicates peace and night

    He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher.

    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

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

    Whoever degrades another degrades me, And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.

    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.

    The Past -- the dark unfathomed retrospect The teeming gulf --the sleepers and the shadows The past the infinite greatness of the past For what is the present after all but a growth out of the past

    This is what you shall do love the earth and sun, and 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 towards the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men go freely with the powerful uneducated persons, and with the young, and 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 books, and dismiss whatever insults your soul.

    I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.

    I am for those who believe in loose delights, I share the midnight orgies of young men, I dance with the dancers and drink with the drinkers.

    Not till the sun excludes you do I exclude you.


    I see great things in baseball. It's our game - the American game.

    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.

    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.

    It baseball will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.


    More Walt Whitman Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Literature - Soul - God - Poetry - People - World - Nature - Death & Dying - Youth - Miracles - Faces - Books - Education - Joy & Excitement - Life - Night - Democracy - Time - View All Walt Whitman Quotations

    More Walt Whitman Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Leaves of Grass

    Related Authors


    Robert Frost - Maya Angelou - Aeschylus - Sylvia Plath - Robert Service - Robert Burns - Ogden Nash - John Betjeman - Edgar Guest - Allan Cunningham


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