Sunday, November 11, 2012

Walt Whitman Selected Quotes

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

“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”
― Walt Whitman

“A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more
than he. I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green
stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see
and remark, and say Whose?
-- Walt Whitman

“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

“Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find."
― Walt Whitman

“I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love.

If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good help to you nevertheless
And filter and fiber your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop some where waiting for you”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and the sun and the 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 toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.”
― Walt Whitman

“The smallest sprout shows there is really no death;
And if ever there was, it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward—nothing collapses;
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.”
― Walt Whitman

“We were together. I forget the rest.”
― Walt Whitman

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.”
― Walt Whitman

“Happiness, not in another place but this place...not for another hour, but this hour.”
― Walt Whitman

“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough”
― Walt Whitman

“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.”
― Walt Whitman

“Peace is always beautiful.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“Re-examine all you have been told...
Dismiss what insults your Soul.”
― Walt Whitman

“In the faces of men and women, I see God.”
― Walt Whitman

“I am satisfied ... I see, dance, laugh, sing.
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“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.”
― Walt Whitman

“Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams,
Now I wash the gum from your eyes,
You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light
and of every moment of your life”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“I act as the tongue of you,
... tied in your mouth . . . . in mine it begins to be loosened.”
― Walt Whitman

“Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“The future is no more uncertain than the present.”
― Walt Whitman

“I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

“A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.”
― Walt Whitman

“I exist as I am, that is enough.”
― Walt Whitman

“This hour I tell things in confidence/ I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you.”
― Walt Whitman

“I tramp a perpetual journey.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

“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.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition

“I am too not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibility of their own souls.”
― Walt Whitman

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“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.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“Out of the cradle endlessly rocking,
Out of the mocking-bird’s throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the Ninth-month midnight,
Over the sterile sands, and the fields beyond, where the child, leaving his bed, wander’d
alone, bare-headed, barefoot,
Down from the shower’d halo,
Up from the mystic play of shadows, twining and twisting as if they were alive,
Out from the patches of briers and blackberries,
From the memories of the bird that chanted to me,
From your memories, sad brother—from the fitful risings and fallings I heard,
From under that yellow half-moon, late-risen, and swollen as if with tears,
From those beginning notes of sickness and love, there in the transparent mist,
From the thousand responses of my heart, never to cease,
From the myriad thence-arous’d words,
From the word stronger and more delicious than any,
From such, as now they start, the scene revisiting,
As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing,
Borne hither—ere all eludes me, hurriedly,
A man—yet by these tears a little boy again,
Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves,
I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter,
Taking all hints to use them—but swiftly leaping beyond them,
A reminiscence sing. ”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

“The question, O me! so sad, recurring -
What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here - that life
exists and identity,
that the powerful play goes on,
and you may contribute a verse.”
― Walt Whitman, The Leaves of Grass

The mark of a true writer is their ability to mystify the familiar and familiarize the strange.”
― Walt Whitman

“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?”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“And I will show that there is no imperfection in the present, and
can be none in the future,
And I will show that whatever happens to anybody it may be turn'd to
beautiful results,
And I will show that nothing can happen more beautiful than death,
And I will thread a thread through my poems that time and events are
And that all the things of the universe are perfect miracles, each
as profound as any.”
― Walt Whitman

“Be not dishearten'd -- Affection shall solve the problems of Freedom yet;
Those who love each other shall become invincible.”
― Walt Whitman

“What shall I give? and which are my miracles?

2. Realism is mine--my miracles--Take freely,
Take without end--I offer them to you wherever your feet can carry you or your eyes reach.

3. 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 day with any one I love--or sleep in the bed at night with any
one I love,
Or sit at the table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds--or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown--or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best--mechanics, boatmen, farmers,
Or among the savans--or to the _soiree_--or to the opera.
Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery,
Or behold children at their sports,
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman,
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial,
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass;
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring--yet each distinct and in its place.

4. To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every cubic foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass--the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.
To me the sea is a continual miracle;
The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion of the waves--the ships, with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“I will You, in all, Myself, with promise to never desert you,         
To which I sign my name.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“Clear and sweet is my soul, clear and sweet is all that is not my soul.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“keep your face always toward the sunshine-and shadows will fall behind you.”
― Walt Whitman

“I and this mystery here we stand.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself