FORMS, qualities, lives, humanity, language, thoughts,
The ones known, and the ones unknown--the ones on the stars,
The stars themselves, some shaped, others unshaped,
Wonders as of those countries--the soil, trees, cities, inhabitants,
whatever they may be,
Splendid suns, the moons and rings, the countless combinations and
Such-like, and as good as such-like, visible here or anywhere, stand
provided for in a handful of space, which I extend my arm and
half enclose with my hand;
That contains the start of each and all--the virtue, the germs of

by Walt Whitman

Comments (3)

cameron- i thought you had a good comment on this one. i thought the same thing on it. i thought whitman was trying to explain how there is a lot of cultures around the world. he said taht there were some that people knoew about and some that we didnt. he compared the people to germs because germs come in all shapes and sizes like people do.
I think that in Germs by walt whitman is about all the different races and beliefs and different types of people. I think its ironic that he's referring to them as germs. Because of discrimination that how some peers would call him as germs yet i don't think he feels this way because he's the one pointing out the different qualities and accepting them in wonderful views of life.
In this poem Whitman is talking about different countries and how they differ from ours. They all have different 'qualities, lives, humanity, languages, thoughts, ' then we do. He is calling them germs because there are many germs in the world. There are 'many known, and unknown, ' and ther are 'different shapes and forms' just like there are in the different cultures around the world.