Walt Whitman

(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

Walt Whitman Quotes

  • ''Rugged, mountainous, volcanic, he was himself more a French revolution than any of his volumes.''
    Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Specimen Days (Feb. 10, 1881).
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  • ''I will put in my poems, that with you is heroism, upon land and sea—And
    I will report all heroism from an American point of view.''
    Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Starting From Paumanok, sct. 7.
  • ''And I will show that nothing can happen more beautiful than death.''
    Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Starting From Paumanok, sct. 13.
  • ''I never see that man without feeling that he is one to become personally attach'd to, for his combination of purest, heartiest tenderness, and native western form of manliness.''
    Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. "The Inauguration," March 4, 1865, Specimen Days and Collect (1882).
  • ''The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it.''
    Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Leaves of Grass, preface (1855).
  • ''The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.''
    Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Leaves of Grass, preface (1855).
  • ''There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius.''
    Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Leaves of Grass, preface (1855).
  • ''The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.''
    Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Leaves of Grass, preface (1855).
  • ''As soon as histories are properly told there is no more need of romances.''
    Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Leaves of Grass, preface (1855).
  • ''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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Song of Myself, III

I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the
beginning and the end
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.
There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

Urge and urge and urge,

[Hata Bildir]