Walt Whitman Quotes

Quotes tagged as "walt-whitman" Showing 1-30 of 49
Walt Whitman
“What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
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, Song of Myself

Allen Ginsberg
“You know me now. I’m only good at beginnings.”
Allen Ginsberg

Langston Hughes
“Pleasured equally
In seeking as in finding,
Each detail minding,
Old Walt went seeking
And finding.”
Langston Hughes

Walt Whitman
“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 to his kind that lived thousands of years ago. ”
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
“I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least,
Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself.”
Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Frank O'Hara
“Too many poets act like a middle-aged mother trying to get her kids to eat too much cooked meat, and potatoes with drippings (tears). I don't give a damn whether they eat or not. Forced feeding leads to excessive thinness (effete). Nobody should experience anything they don't need to, if they don't need poetry bully for them. I like the movies too. And after all, only Whitman and Crane and Williams, of the American poets, are better than the movies.”
Frank O'Hara

Henry N. Beard
“I situate myself, and seat myself,
And where you recline I shall recline,
For every armchair belonging to you as good as belongs to me.

I loaf and curl up my tail
I yawn and loaf at my ease after rolling in the catnip patch."

(From Meow of Myself, from LEAVES OF CATNIP)”
Henry N. Beard, Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse

Walt Whitman
“Poets to Come

POETS to come! orators, singers, musicians to come!
Not to-day is to justify me, and answer what I am for;
But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than before known,
Arouse! Arouse
for you must justify me
you must answer.

I myself but write one or two indicative words for the future,
I but advance a moment, only to wheel and hurry back in the darkness.

I am a man who, sauntering along, without fully stopping, turns a casual look upon you, and then averts his face,
Leaving it to you to prove and define it,
Expecting the main things from you.”
Walt Whitman

Henry N. Beard
“Behold the day-break!
I awaken you by sitting on your chest and purring in your face,
I stir you with muscular paw-prods, I rouse you with toe-bites,
Walt, you have slept enough, why don't you get up?"

(From Meow of Myself, from LEAVES OF CATNIP)”
Henry N. Beard, Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse

Henry N. Beard
“You can never know where I am or what I am,
But I am good company to you nonetheless,
And really do regret I broke your inkwell."

(From Meow of Myself, from LEAVES OF CATNIP)”
Henry N. Beard, Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse

“The Open Road goes to the used-car lot.”
Louis Simpson, People Live Here: Selected Poems 1948-1983

Henry N. Beard
“The noisy jay swoops by and reviles me, he complains of my meow and my malingering.

I too am not a bit subdued, I too am uncontrollable,
I sound my splenetic yowl over the roof of the house."

(From Meow of Myself, from LEAVES OF CATNIP)”
Henry N. Beard, Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse

Lisa Henry
“[Walt] Whitman would never get in the way of a boy trying to get off with another boy. Bros before prose.”
Lisa Henry, Mark Cooper versus America

Tiffany Desiree
“American teachers said I was illiterate, so they put me in ELL classes. Although I spoke English, I did not speak their English.”
Tiffany Desiree, Nature, Sex, and Culture: A Tree of Discombobulated Thoughts

Bram Stoker
“[From a letter to Walt Whitman written, 1872]
"I have read your poems with my door locked late at night and I have read them on the seashore where I could look all round me and see no more sign of human life than the ships out at sea: and here I often found myself waking up from a reverie with the book open before me. I love all poetry, and high generous thoughts make the tears rush to my eyes, but sometimes a word or a phrase of yours takes me away from the world around me and places me in an ideal land surrounded by realities more than any poem I ever read.”
Bram Stoker

Walt Whitman
“Welcome is every organ and attribute of me, and of any man hearty and clean,
Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be
less familiar than the rest.”
Walt Whitman

Mark Doty
This hour I tell things in confidence.
I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you.


To publish these lines is, of course, to tell everybody. Much as he wants to take us into his confidence, seduce with the warmth and directness of his voice, he's also making one of his sly jokes: he's created an intimacy with all the doors and windows open, in which you could be anyone at all. Even as I laugh at the line, I feel the gesture of his arm around my shoulder, drawing my ear nearer his mouth. What is the difference, in a poem, between performed intimacy and the real thing? What, in a work of art, is not performed? Whitman, perhaps more than any poet before him, explored and exploited poetry's strange duality. In the best poems, we feel the poet's breath, the almost-physical presence of the speaker created by all the tools at the writer's disposal. I sometimes feel that Walt has just walked into the room, as present now as he ever was, a sensual, breathing body that he somehow seems to have constructed of nothing but words.”
Mark Doty, What Is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life

William Dean Howells
“Walt Whitman was not the first to observe that we are all naked under our clothes, but he was one of the greatest, if not the first, to preach a gospel of nudity.”
William Dean Howells

Matthew Zapruder
“Poem for Vows

Hello beautiful talented
dark semi-optimists of June,
from far off I send my hopes
Brooklyn is sunny, and the ghost
of Whitman who loved everyone
is there to see you say what
can never be said, something like
partly I promise my whole life
to try to figure out what it means
to stand facing you under a tree,
and partly no matter how angry
I get I will always remember
we met before we were born,
it was in a village, someone
had just cast a spell, it was
in the park, snow everywhere,
we were slipping and laughing,
at last we knew the green secret,
we were sea turtles swimming
a long time together without
needing to breathe, we were
two hungry owls silently
hunting night, our terrible claws,
I don’t want to sound like I know,
I’m just one who worries all night
about people in a lab watching
a storm in a glass terrarium
perform lethal ubiquity,
tiny black clouds make the final
ideogram above miniature lands
exactly resembling ours, what is
happening happens again,
they cannot stop it, they take off
their white coats, go outside,
look up and wonder, only we
who promise everything despite
everything can tell them
the solution, only we know.”
Matthew Zapruder

Walt Whitman
“A mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels.”
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
“The narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery.”
Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
“And to die is different from what anyone supposed, and
luckier.”
Walt Whitman, Leaves of grass

Walt Whitman
“The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss
or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news,
the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.”
Walt Whitman

Jericho Brown
“I think of myself as a descendant of traditions that would not have wanted me. Right? So, as long as I'm a queer writer, I'm Whitman's descendant. And he can't do nothing about it.”
Jericho Brown

“Come and be a wanderer with me and we will all the pleasures of freedom prove.”
Marty Rubin

L.M. Browning
“This is What You Shall Do and Not Do

Know your worth, know your limits, know your boundlessness, know your strengths, know your weaknesses, know your accomplishments, and know your dreams.

Be a mirror for all those who project their darkness onto you; do not internalize it. Don’t seek validation from those who will refuse to understand you. Don’t say yes, when you need to say no. Don’t stay when you know you should go. Don’t go when you know you should stay. Respond, don’t react. Behave in a manner aligning with your values.

Sleep. Seek out quiet. Don’t glorify busyness. Reignite your curiosity for the world. Explore new horizons. Be honest with yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Approach yourself as you would approach a child—with a kind tone and deep understanding. Love yourself or, at the very least, have mercy on yourself. Be your own parent, your own child, your own lover, your own partner.

Give less of your time to employment that drains you of your enthusiasm for life. Reclaim your freedom by redefining your necessities. Take that gathered energy; devote your precious life to your passions.

Unplug from the babble. Seek awe. It is the counterbalance to trauma. Do your psychological work, and don’t take any one else’s work upon yourself. Protect your peace. Listen to what your heart knows; fuck everything else.”
L.M. Browning

Hillary Manton Lodge
“Give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard.
---WALT WHITMAN
Hillary Manton Lodge, Together at the Table

“Whitman, you once told me, is democracy on the page, messy
and imperfect as we are in real life, which gave you hope

that we would one day make real life true democracy, ripe blossom,
pollen dusting every moment and person, each scampering mote of light.

This is why as you lay dying, I read “I Hear America Singing”
and knew you heard every word and could feel my hand on yours

though you were already moving toward other miracles than this life.
A sunflower followed your motion and a yellow dog stood guard.

You, who lived the notion that the sun belongs to each and every one,
beggars, dreamers, kings, all. You who believed banks could have hearts,

for god’s sake! You have left it to us, messy and imperfect
as we are and will be, to keep to the work side by side

and as long as it takes, all the while singing of miracles
just as Whitman and you taught us to do.”
Rosemary Catacalos

Walt Whitman
“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 table at dinner with the rest,
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;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
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

George Saunders
“Who am I? Everybody. As Whitman said: “I am large, I contain multitudes.” Individuals within that multitude are always flickering on and off within me, stepping forward, then receding. And these individuals resemble the individuals who flicker on and off within you.

This is the idea on which fiction is built.”
George Saunders

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