Walt Whitman Quotes

Quotes tagged as "walt-whitman" Showing 1-30 of 37
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

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

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

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

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

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

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
“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
“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

John Green
“No you don't", she answers, and she is right. She can see it in my face- I understand now that I can't be her and she can't be me. Maybe Whitman had a gift I don't have. But as for me: I must ask the wounded man where he is hurt, because I cannot become the wounded man. The only wounded man I can be is me.”
John Green, Paper Towns

“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

Walt Whitman
“In all people I see myself, none more and not one a barleycorn less,
And the good or bad I say of myself I say of them.
And I know I am solid and sound,
To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow,
All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means.
And I know I am deathless.
I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter's compass,
I know I shall not pass like a child's carlacue cut with a burnt stick at night.”
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Jacob M. Appel
“To the bankrupt poet, to the jilted lover, to anyone who yearns to elude the doubt within and the din without, the tidal strait between Manhattan Island and her favorite suburb offers the specious illusion of easy death. Melville prepared for the plunge from the breakwater on the South Street promenade, Whitman at the railing of the outbound ferry, both men redeemed by some Darwinian impulse, maybe some epic vision, which enabled them to change leaden water into lyric wine. Hart Crane rejected the limpid estuary for the brackish swirl of the Caribbean Sea. In each generation, from Washington Irving’s to Truman Capote’s, countless young men of promise and talent have examined the rippling foam between the nation’s literary furnace and her literary playground, questioning whether the reams of manuscript in their Brooklyn lofts will earn them garlands in Manhattan’s salons and ballrooms, wavering between the workroom and the water. And the city had done everything in its power to assist these men, to ease their affliction and to steer them toward the most judicious of decisions. It has built them a bridge.”
Jacob M. Appel, The Biology of Luck

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

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

Garth Risk Hallberg
“What would Walt Whitman do?”
Garth Risk Hallberg, City on Fire

Walt Whitman
“All I mark as my own you shall offset it with your own,
Else it were time lost listening to me.”
Walt Whitman

Henry Miller
“And inevitably there always crept into our discussions the figure of Whitman, that one lone figure which America has produced in the course of her brief life. In Whitman the whole American scene comes to life, her past and her future, her birth and her death. Whatever there is of value in America Whitman has expressed, and there is nothing more to be said.”
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

Norman Lock
“How old are you, son?' Whitman asked.

'Going on seventeen.'

'So young,' he said, stroking the back of my hand with his poem-stained fingers. 'How did you come to lose your eye?'

I told him the story of my heroism, with embellishments--told it so well, I was nearly persuaded of my exceptional character.

'You sacrificed what little you had to call your own for democracy, freedom, and human dignity. You gave an eye, half of man's greatest blessing, when rich men up north paid a small price to keep themselves and their sons from harm.'

With those few words, accompanied by a glance that seemed to measure the dimensions of my meager existence, Whitman made me see myself as a sacrifice on the altar of wealth, but a hero notwithstanding.”
Norman Lock

“But something special happened to American poetry in the 19th century when Walt Whitman broke with more traditional English poetics and fashioned an American poetic style as innovative and imaginative as the new nation itself. He created a persona narrator whose ambition it was to embrace all the ideals and spirit of rebellion and revolutionary zeal of its history, while creating a language free of old world formalists constraints. His new music was influenced by the Hebraic bible in its use of incantation and rhythmic repetition, and his stories were also both biblical and innovative in nature.”
Phillip Schultz

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

H. Havelock Ellis
“When we read certain portions of “Leaves of Grass” we seem to see a vast phalanx of Great Companions passing for ever along the cosmic roads, stalwart Pioneers of the Universe. There are superb young men, athletic girls, splendid and savage old men—for the weak seem to have perished by the roadside.”
H. Havelock Ellis

Dorothy Parker
“This isn’t my head I’ve got on now. I think this is something that used to belong to Walt Whitman.”
Dorothy Parker, Complete Stories

Ben Lerner
“Part of what makes the book bizzare is that Whitman, because he wants to stand for everyone, because he wants to be less a historical person than a marker for democratic personhood, can't really write a memoir full of a life's particularities.”
Ben Lerner, 10:04

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

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