Monday, April 15, 2024

Walt Whitman 100 Epic Quotes


1.“Be curious, not judgmental.”

2.“O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills…”

3.Each of us inevitable; Each of us limitless-each of us with his or her right upon the earth.

4.Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.

5.“And I know that the hand of God is the elderhand of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the eldest brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers… and the women my sisters and lovers”

6.“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large – I contain multitudes.

7.I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self contained; 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 his kind that lived thousands of years ago; Not one is responsible or industrious over the whole earth.

8.I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best.

9.“Give me such shows–give me the streets of Manhattan!”

10.“Resist much, obey little.”

11.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… And your very flesh shall be a great poem.

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

13.“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.”

14.“And your very flesh shall be a great poem.”

15.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.

16.I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.

17.“It is that something in the soul which says,—Rage on, whirl on, I tread master here and everywhere; master of the spasms of the sky and of the shatter of the sea, master of nature and passion and death, and of all terror and all pain.”

18.“Do anything, but let it produce joy.”

19.And I or you pocketless of a dime, may purchase the pick of the earth.

20.The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.

21.“And that all the things of the universe are perfect miracles, each as profound as any.”

22.“We were together. I forget the rest.”

23.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.

24.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.

25.“Either define the moment or the moment will define you.”

26.“What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.”

27.Where the earth is, we are.

28.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?

29.“The greatest poet does not moralize or make applications of morals… he knows the soul. The soul has that measureless pride which consists in never acknowledging any lessons but its own.”

30.“The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”

31.I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall be complete,
The earth remains jagged and broken only to him or her who remains jagged and broken.

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

33.“Books are to be call’d for, and supplied, on the assumption that the process of reading is nor a half-sleep, but, in highest sense, an exercise, a gymnast’s struggle; that the reader is to do something for himself, must be on the alert, must himself or herself construct indeed the poem, argument, history, metaphysical essay — the text furnishing the hints, the clue, the start or frame-work. Not the book needs so much to be the complete thing, but the reader of the book does. That were to make a nation of supple and athletic minds well-train’d, intuitive, used to depend on themselves, not on a few coteries of writers.”

34.“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars.”

35.Well, every man has a religion; has something in heaven or earth which he will give up everything else for – something which absorbs him – which may be regarded by others as being useless – yet it is his dream, it is his lodestar, it is his master. That, whatever it is, seized upon me, made me its servant, slave – induced me to set aside the other ambitions a trail of glory in the heavens, which I followed, followed with a full heart. …When once I am convinced, I never let go.

36.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?

37.“Life is the little that is left over from dying.”

38.“I am large, I contain multitudes.”

39.The earth does not argue, Is not pathetic, has no arrangements, Does not scream, haste, persuade, threaten, promise, Makes no discriminations, has no conceivable failures, Closes nothing, refuses nothing, shuts none out.

40.There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius.

41.“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.”

42.“I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”

43.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?

44.I exist as I am, that is enough.

45.“I think I will do nothing for a long time but listen,
And accrue what I hear into myself…and let sounds contribute towards me.”

46.“I am larger, better than I thought; I did not know I held so much goodness.”

47.Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth ever afterward resumes its liberty.

48.The real war will never get in the books.

49.“In this broad earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed perfection.”

50.The road to wisdom is paved with excess. The mark of a true writer is their ability to mystify the familiar and familiarize the strange.”

51.There can be no theory of any account unless it corroborate with the theory of the earth.

52.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.

53.“I speak the password primeval.”

54.“O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done.”

55.A man is a great thing upon the earth and through eternity; but every jot of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman.

56.Freedom – to walk free and own no superior.

57.“As to me,I know of nothing but miracles.”

58.“All truths wait in all things.”

59.“All truths wait in all things.”

60.I say the whole earth and all the stars in the sky are for religion’s sake.

61.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.

62.“Some people are so much sunlight to the square inch. I am still bathing in the cheer he radiated.”

63.“To have great poets, there must be great audiences.”

64.Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth, And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own, And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own, And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers, And that a kelson of the creation is love.

65.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.

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

67.“I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world.”

68.Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

69.“Why should I pray? Why should I venerate and be ceremonious?”

70.“This is what you should do; love the Earth and sun and the animals…”

71.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.

72.“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 labour to others,”

73.“Either define the moment or the moment will define you.”

74.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.

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

76.“Nothing can happen more beautiful than death.”

77.I accept reality and dare not question it.

78.“Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?”

79.“I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear.”

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

81.“Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul”

82.“Oh, to be alive in such an age, when miracles are everywhere, and every inch of common air throbs a tremendous prophecy, of greater marvels yet to be.”

83.If any thing is sacred, the human body is sacred.

84.“The earth remains jagged and broken only to him or her who remains jagged and broken.”

85.“To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle. Every cubic inch of space is a miracle.”

86.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.

87.“Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one place search another, I stop somewhere waiting for you.”

88.“Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged. Missing me one place, search another. I stop somewhere waiting for you.”

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

90.“I am enamour’d of growing out-doors, Of men that live among cattle or taste of the ocean or woods,”

91.“I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best.”

92.The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.

93.“Or may-be one who is puzzled at me.
As if I were not puzzled at myself!”

94.“Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.”

95.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.

96.“Speed on my book! spread your white sails my little bark athwart the imperious waves,”

97.“I and this mystery, here we stand.”

98.To have great poets, there must be great audiences.

99.“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.”

  1. “I think I could always live with animals. The more you’re around people, the more you love animals.”

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