Walt Whitman

1861. – Walt Whitman

1861. – Walt Whitman

AARM’D year! year of the struggle! No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you, terrible year! Not you as some pale poetling, seated at a desk, lisping cadenzas piano; But as a strong man, erect, clothed in blue clothes, advancing, carrying a rifle on your shoulder, With well-gristled body a...

When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer

When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer

When I heard the learn’d astronomer; When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me; When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them; When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room, How soon, unacco...

To You Whoever You Are

To You Whoever You Are

Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands; Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, Your true Soul and Body appear before me...

There Was A Child Went Forth Everyday

There Was A Child Went Forth Everyday

There was a child went forth every day; And the first object he look’d upon, 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 early lilacs became part of this child, And grass, and white a...

The Prairie Grass Diving

The Prairie Grass Diving

The prairie-grass dividing, its special odor breathing, I demand of it the spiritual corresponding, Demand the most copious and close companionship of men, Demand the blades to rise of words, acts, beings, Those of the open atmosphere, coarse, sunlit, fresh, nutritious, Those that go their own gait,...

Reconciliation

Reconciliation

Word over all, beautiful as the sky! Beautiful that war, and all its deeds of carnage, must in time be utterly lost; That the hands of the sisters Death and Night, incessantly softly wash again, and ever again, this soil’d world: … For my enemy is dead–a man divine as myself is dea...

On The Beach At Night

On The Beach At Night

On the beach, at night, Stands a child, with her father, Watching the east, the autumn sky. Up through the darkness, While ravening clouds, the burial clouds, in black masses spreading, Lower, sullen and fast, athwart and down the sky, Amid a transparent clear belt of ether yet left in the east, Asc...

O Me O Life

O Me O Life

O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; Of the endless trains of the faithless–of cities fill’d with the foolish; Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) Of eyes that vainly crave the light–of the objects mean&#...

O Captain! My Captain

O Captain! My Captain

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring: But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Wh...

Miracles

Miracles

Why! who makes much of a miracle? As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water, Or stand under trees in the woods, Or talk by da...

I Sit And Look Out

I Sit And Look Out

I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all oppression and shame; I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with themselves, remorseful after deeds done; I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt, desperate; I see the wife m...

I Saw In Louisiana A Live Oak Growing

I Saw In Louisiana A Live Oak Growing

I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing, All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches, Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green, And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself, But I wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves standing ...

I Hear America Singing

I Hear America Singing

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear; Those of mechanics–each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong; The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam, The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work; The boatman singing what belongs to...

A Noiseless Patient Spider

A Noiseless Patient Spider

A noiseless, patient spider, I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated; Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding, It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself; Ever unreeling them–ever tirelessly speeding them. And you, O my Soul,...

Beat Beat Drums

Beat Beat Drums

Beat! beat! drums!–Blow! bugles! blow! Through the windows–through doors–burst like a ruthless force, Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation; Into the school where the scholar is studying; Leave not the bridegroom quiet–no happiness must he have now with his bri...

With All Thy Gifts By Walt Whitman

With All Thy Gifts By Walt Whitman

With All Thy Gifts WITH all thy gifts, America, (Standing secure, rapidly tending, overlooking the world,) Power, wealth, extent, vouchsafed to thee–With these, and like of these, vouchsafed to thee, What if one gift thou lackest? (the ultimate human problem never solving;) The gift of Perfect...

To You By Walt Whitman

To You By Walt Whitman

To You Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands, Even now your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, Your true soul and body appear bef...

Think Of The Soul By Walt Whitman

Think Of The Soul By Walt Whitman

Think Of The Soul THINK of the Soul; I swear to you that body of yours gives proportions to your Soul somehow to live in other spheres; I do not know how, but I know it is so. Think of loving and being loved; I swear to you, whoever you are, you can interfuse yourself with such things that everybody...

Tests By Walt Whitman

Tests By Walt Whitman

Tests ALL submit to them, where they sit, inner, secure, unapproachable to analysis, in the Soul; Not traditions–not the outer authorities are the judges–they are the judges of outer authorities, and of all traditions; They corroborate as they go, only whatever corroborates themselves, a...

Song Of Myself, XXII By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, XXII By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, XXII You sea! I resign myself to you also—I guess what you mean, I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers, I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me, We must have a turn together, I undress, hurry me out of sight of the land, Cushion me soft, rock me in billo...

Song Of Myself, IV By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, IV By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, IV Trippers and askers surround me, People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and city I live in, or the nation, The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new, My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues, The real or fancied...

Pioneers! O Pioneers! By Walt Whitman

Pioneers! O Pioneers! By Walt Whitman

Pioneers! O Pioneers! COME, my tan-faced children, Follow well in order, get your weapons ready; Have you your pistols? have you your sharp edged axes? Pioneers! O pioneers! For we cannot tarry here, We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger, We, the youthful sinewy races, all the ...

O Bitter Sprig! Confession Sprig! By Walt Whitman

O Bitter Sprig! Confession Sprig! By Walt Whitman

O Bitter Sprig! Confession Sprig! O BITTER sprig! Confession sprig! In the bouquet I give you place also–I bind you in, Proceeding no further till, humbled publicly, I give fair warning, once for all. I own that I have been sly, thievish, mean, a prevaricator, greedy, derelict, And I own that ...

In Paths Untrodden By Walt Whitman

In Paths Untrodden By Walt Whitman

In Paths Untrodden IN paths untrodden, In the growth by margins of pond-waters, Escaped from the life that exhibits itself, From all the standards hitherto publish’d–from the pleasures, profits, eruditions, conformities, Which too long I was offering to feed my soul; Clear to me, now, st...

For Him I Sing By Walt Whitman

For Him I Sing By Walt Whitman

For Him I Sing FOR him I sing, I raise the Present on the Past, (As some perennial tree, out of its roots, the present on the past:) With time and space I him dilate–and fuse the immortal laws, To make himself, by them, the law unto himself. Hits: 0

Beginning My Studies By Walt Whitman

Beginning My Studies By Walt Whitman

Beginning My Studies BEGINNING my studies, the first step pleas’d me so much, The mere fact, consciousness–these forms–the power of motion, The least insect or animal–the senses–eyesight–love; The first step, I say, aw’d me and pleas’d me so much, I ha...

Aboard At A Ship’s Helm By Walt Whitman

Aboard At A Ship’s Helm By Walt Whitman

Aboard At A Ship’s Helm ABOARD, at a ship’s helm, A young steersman, steering with care. A bell through fog on a sea-coast dolefully ringing, An ocean-bell–O a warning bell, rock’d by the waves. O you give good notice indeed, you bell by the sea-reefs ringing, Ringing, ringin...

What General Has A Good Army By Walt Whitman

What General Has A Good Army By Walt Whitman

What General Has A Good Army WHAT General has a good army in himself, has a good army; He happy in himself, or she happy in herself, is happy, But I tell you you cannot be happy by others, any more than you can beget or conceive a child by others. Hits: 0

To Oratists By Walt Whitman

To Oratists By Walt Whitman

To Oratists TO ORATISTS–to male or female, Vocalism, measure, concentration, determination, and the divine power to use words. Are you full-lung’d and limber-lipp’d from long trial? from vigorous practice? from physique? Do you move in these broad lands as broad as they? Come duly ...

The Singer In The Prison By Walt Whitman

The Singer In The Prison By Walt Whitman

The Singer In The Prison O sight of shame, and pain, and dole! O fearful thought–a convict Soul! RANG the refrain along the hall, the prison, Rose to the roof, the vaults of heaven above, Pouring in floods of melody, in tones so pensive, sweet and strong, the like whereof was never heard, Reac...

Song Of The Universal By Walt Whitman

Song Of The Universal By Walt Whitman

Song Of The Universal COME, said the Muse, Sing me a song no poet yet has chanted, Sing me the Universal. In this broad Earth of ours, Amid the measureless grossness and the slag, Enclosed and safe within its central heart, Nestles the seed Perfection. By every life a share, or more or less, None bo...

Song Of Myself, XLV By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, XLV By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, XLV O span of youth! ever-push’d elasticity! O manhood, balanced, florid and full. My lovers suffocate me, Crowding my lips, thick in the pores of my skin, Jostling me through streets and public halls, coming naked to me at night, Crying by day Ahoy! from the rocks of the river...

Shut Not Your Doors, &C. By Walt Whitman

Shut Not Your Doors, &C. By Walt Whitman

Shut Not Your Doors, &C. SHUT not your doors to me, proud libraries, For that which was lacking on all your well-fill’d shelves, yet needed most, I bring; Forth from the army, the war emerging–a book I have made, The words of my book nothing–the drift of it everything; A book ...

One’s Self I Sing By Walt Whitman

One’s Self I Sing By Walt Whitman

One’s Self I Sing ONE’S-SELF I sing–a simple, separate Person; Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-masse. Of Physiology from top to toe I sing; Not physiognomy alone, nor brain alone, is worthy for the muse–I say the Form complete is worthier far; The Female equally wi...

Myself And Mine By Walt Whitman

Myself And Mine By Walt Whitman

Myself And Mine MYSELF and mine gymnastic ever, To stand the cold or heat–to take good aim with a gun–to sail a boat–to manage horses–to beget superb children, To speak readily and clearly–to feel at home among common people, And to hold our own in terrible positions, o...

I Heard You, Solemn-Sweep Pipes Of The Organ By Walt Whitman

I Heard You, Solemn-Sweep Pipes Of The Organ By Walt Whitman

I Heard You, Solemn-Sweep Pipes Of The Organ I HEARD you, solemn-sweet pipes of the organ, as last Sunday morn I pass’d the church; Winds of autumn!–as I walk’d the woods at dusk, I heard your long- stretch’d sighs, up above, so mournful; I heard the perfect Italian tenor, si...

Drum-Taps By Walt Whitman

Drum-Taps By Walt Whitman

Drum-Taps Aroused and angry, I thought to beat the alarum, and urge relentless war; But soon my fingers fail’d me, my face droop’d, and I resign’d myself, To sit by the wounded and soothe them, or silently watch the dead. Drum-Taps FIRST, O songs, for a prelude, Lightly strike on t...

As If A Phantom Caress’D Me By Walt Whitman

As If A Phantom Caress’D Me By Walt Whitman

As If A Phantom Caress’D Me AS if a phantom caress’d me, I thought I was not alone, walking here by the shore; But the one I thought was with me, as now I walk by the shore–the one I loved, that caress’d me, As I lean and look through the glimmering light–that one has u...

A Hand-Mirror By Walt Whitman

A Hand-Mirror By Walt Whitman

A Hand-Mirror HOLD it up sternly! See this it sends back! (Who is it? Is it you?) Outside fair costume–within ashes and filth, No more a flashing eye–no more a sonorous voice or springy step; Now some slave’s eye, voice, hands, step, A drunkard’s breath, unwholesome eaterR...

Voices By Walt Whitman

Voices By Walt Whitman

Voices NOW I make a leaf of Voices–for I have found nothing mightier than they are, And I have found that no word spoken, but is beautiful, in its place. O what is it in me that makes me tremble so at voices? Surely, whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her I shall follow, As the wa...

To A Common Prostitute By Walt Whitman

To A Common Prostitute By Walt Whitman

To A Common Prostitute To a Common Prostitute 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...

The Great City By Walt Whitman

The Great City By Walt Whitman

The Great City The place where a great city stands is not the place of stretch’d wharves, docks, manufactures, deposits of produce merely, Nor the place of ceaseless salutes of new-comers or the anchor-lifters of the departing, Nor the place of the tallest and costliest buildings or shops sell...

Song Of Myself, XXXIV By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, XXXIV By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, XXXIV Now I tell what I knew in Texas in my early youth, (I tell not the fall of Alamo, Not one escaped to tell the fall of Alamo, The hundred and fifty are dumb yet at Alamo,) ‘Tis the tale of the murder in cold blood of four hundred and twelve young men. Retreating they had f...

Song Of Myself, XI By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, XI By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, XI Twenty-eight young men bathe by the shore, Twenty-eight young men and all so friendly; Twenty-eight years of womanly life and all so lonesome. She owns the fine house by the rise of the bank, She hides handsome and richly drest aft the blinds of the window. Which of the young men ...

Recorders Ages Hence By Walt Whitman

Recorders Ages Hence By Walt Whitman

Recorders Ages Hence RECORDERS ages hence! Come, I will take you down underneath this impassive exterior–I will tell you what to say of me; Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover, The friend, the lover’s portrait, of whom his friend, his lover, was fondest,...

Of The Terrible Doubt Of Apperarances By Walt Whitman

Of The Terrible Doubt Of Apperarances By Walt Whitman

Of The Terrible Doubt Of Apperarances OF the terrible doubt of appearances, Of the uncertainty after all–that we may be deluded, That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all, That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only, May-be the things I perceive–the...

Long I Thought That Knowledge By Walt Whitman

Long I Thought That Knowledge By Walt Whitman

Long I Thought That Knowledge LONG I thought that knowledge alone would suffice me–O if I could but obtain knowledge! Then my lands engrossed me–Lands of the prairies, Ohio’s land, the southern savannas, engrossed me–For them I would live–I would be their orator; Then I...

Great Are The Myths By Walt Whitman

Great Are The Myths By Walt Whitman

Great Are The Myths GREAT are the myths–I too delight in them; Great are Adam and Eve–I too look back and accept them; Great the risen and fallen nations, and their poets, women, sages, inventors, rulers, warriors, and priests. Great is Liberty! great is Equality! I am their follower; He...

Cavalry Crossing A Ford By Walt Whitman

Cavalry Crossing A Ford By Walt Whitman

Cavalry Crossing A Ford A LINE in long array, where they wind betwixt green islands; They take a serpentine course–their arms flash in the sun–Hark to the musical clank; Behold the silvery river–in it the splashing horses, loitering, stop to drink; Behold the brown-faced men–...

Apostroph By Walt Whitman

Apostroph By Walt Whitman

Apostroph O MATER! O fils! O brood continental! O flowers of the prairies! O space boundless! O hum of mighty products! O you teeming cities! O so invincible, turbulent, proud! O race of the future! O women! O fathers! O you men of passion and the storm! O native power only! O beauty! O yourself! O ...

Who Learns My Lesson Complete By Walt Whitman

Who Learns My Lesson Complete By Walt Whitman

Who Learns My Lesson Complete WHO learns my lesson complete? Boss, journeyman, apprentice–churchman and atheist, The stupid and the wise thinker–parents and offspring–merchant, clerk, porter and customer, Editor, author, artist, and schoolboy–Draw nigh and commence; It is no ...

Trinckle, Drops By Walt Whitman

Trinckle, Drops By Walt Whitman

Trinckle, Drops TRICKLE, drops! my blue veins leaving! O drops of me! trickle, slow drops, Candid, from me falling–drip, bleeding drops, From wounds made to free you whence you were prison’d, From my face–from my forehead and lips, From my breast–from within where I was conce...

Thick-Sprinkled Bunting By Walt Whitman

Thick-Sprinkled Bunting By Walt Whitman

Thick-Sprinkled Bunting THICK-SPRINKLED bunting! Flag of stars! Long yet your road, fateful flag!–long yet your road, and lined with bloody death! For the prize I see at issue, at last is the world! All its ships and shores I see, interwoven with your threads, greedy banner! –Dream’...

Tears By Walt Whitman

Tears By Walt Whitman

Tears Tears! tears! tears! In the night, in solitude, tears; On the white shore dripping, dripping, suck’d in by the sand; Tears–not a star shining–all dark and desolate; Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head: –O who is that ghost?–that form in the dark, with tear...

Song Of Myself, XXI By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, XXI By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, XXI I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul, The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me, The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate into a new tongue. I am the poet of the woman the same as the man, And I say it is as...

Song Of Myself, III By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, III By Walt Whitman

Song Of Myself, III I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end But I do not talk of the beginning or the end. There was never any more inception than there is now, Nor any more youth or age than there is now, And will never be any more perfection than there is ...

Pensive On Her Dead Gazing, I Heard The Mother Of All By Walt Whitman

Pensive On Her Dead Gazing, I Heard The Mother Of All By Walt Whitman

Pensive On Her Dead Gazing, I Heard The Mother Of All PENSIVE, on her dead gazing, I heard the Mother of All, Desperate, on the torn bodies, on the forms covering the battle- fields gazing; (As the last gun ceased–but the scent of the powder-smoke linger’d;) As she call’d to her ea...

Now List To My Morning’s Romanza By Walt Whitman

Now List To My Morning’s Romanza By Walt Whitman

Now List To My Morning’s Romanza NOW list to my morning’s romanza–I tell the signs of the Answerer; To the cities and farms I sing, as they spread in the sunshine before me. A young man comes to me bearing a message from his brother; How shall the young man know the whether and whe...

In Midnight Sleep By Walt Whitman

In Midnight Sleep By Walt Whitman

In Midnight Sleep IN midnight sleep, of many a face of anguish, Of the look at first of the mortally wounded–of that indescribable look; Of the dead on their backs, with arms extended wide, I dream, I dream, I dream. Of scenes of nature, fields and mountains; Of skies, so beauteous after a sto...

Fast Anchor’D, Eternal, O Love By Walt Whitman

Fast Anchor’D, Eternal, O Love By Walt Whitman

Fast Anchor’D, Eternal, O Love FAST-ANCHOR’D, eternal, O love! O woman I love! O bride! O wife! more resistless than I can tell, the thought of you! –Then separate, as disembodied, or another born, Ethereal, the last athletic reality, my consolation; I ascend–I float in the r...