Walt Whitman Quotes

Over the tree-tops I float thee a song, Over the rising and sinking waves, over the myriad fields and the prairies wide, Over the dense-packed cities all and the teeming wharves and ways, I float this carol with joy, with joy to thee, O death,
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Memories of President Lincoln (l. 18-20). . . The Complete Poems [Walt Whitman]. Francis Murphy, ed. (1975; repr. 1986) Penguin Books.
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To have great poets, there must be great audiences too.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. "Ventures on an Old Theme," Notes Left Over (1881). This motto adorned the front of Poetry magazine and was the object of the vitriolic disapproval of Ezra Pound, who, in 1914, wrote in the pages of the magazine: "The artist is not dependent on the multitude of his listeners.... This rabble, this multitude—does not create the great artist. They are aimless and drifting without him." See also Ezra Pound's remark under "the arts."
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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.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Native Moments.
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Till at latest lingering of the night, indeed just as the dawn appear'd, My comrade I wrapt in his blanket, envelop'd well his form, Folded the blanket well, tucking it carefully over head and carefully under feet, And there and then and bathed by the rising sun, my son in his grave, in his rude-dug grave I deposited, Ending my vigil strange with that, vigil of night and battle-field dim, Vigil for boy of responding kisses, ( never again on earth responding,) Vigil for comrade swiftly slain, vigil I never forget, how as day brighten'd, I rose from the chill ground and folded my soldier well in his blanket, And buried him where he fell.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night (l. 18-26). . . The Complete Poems [Walt Whitman]. Francis Murphy, ed. (1975; repr. 1986) Penguin Books.
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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.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. "New Themes Entered Upon," Specimen Days and Collect (1882).
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Vigil strange I kept on the field one night; When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side that day, One look I but gave which your dear eyes return'd with a look I shall never forget, One touch of your hand to mine O boy, reach'd up as you lay on the ground,
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night (l. 1-4). . . The Complete Poems [Walt Whitman]. Francis Murphy, ed. (1975; repr. 1986) Penguin Books.
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O magnet-south! O glistening, perfumed South! my South! O quick mettle, rich blood, impulse and love! Good and evil! O all dear to me!
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. "O Magnet-south."
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I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me whispering to congratulate me, For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night, In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me, And his arm lay lightly around my breast—and that night I was happy.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. When I Heard at the Close of the Day (l. 10-13). . . The Complete Poems [Walt Whitman]. Francis Murphy, ed. (1975; repr. 1986) Penguin Books.
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Once I pass'd through a populous city imprinting my brain for future use with its shows, architecture, customs, traditions, Yet now of all that city I remember only a woman I casually met there who detain'd me for love of me,
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Once I Pass'd through a Populous City (l. 1-2). . . The Complete Poems [Walt Whitman]. Francis Murphy, ed. (1975; repr. 1986) Penguin Books.
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When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv'd with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow'd, And else when I carous'd, or when my plans were accomplish'd, still I was not happy, But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh'd, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. When I Heard at the Close of the Day (l. 1-3). . . The Complete Poems [Walt Whitman]. Francis Murphy, ed. (1975; repr. 1986) Penguin Books.
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