Walt Whitman’s works have also been translated into my language (Slovenian), and when I discovered poetry, he was one of the first foreign poets to touch my heart. As I read his verses, it seemed to me that much more was said between the lines. I like his way of thinking which was very futuristic and wide open. I adore his legacy, full of wisdom.
“This hour I tell things in confidence. I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you.”
Short About Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman (1819–1892) was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. He was a humanist at the time of the transition between transcendentalism and realism and represented both views in his works.
Whitman is among the most influential poets in the United States, often referred to as the father of free verse. His work was described as controversial and obscene, as he wrote very sensually (especially his poetry collection Leaves of Grass).
Walt Whitman Quotes
Walt Whitman Quotes About Life
“Every hour of every day is an unspeakably perfect miracle.”
“Peace is always beautiful.”
“Simplicity is the glory of expression.”
“I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.”
“There will never be any more perfection than there is now.”
“I exist as I am, that is enough.”
”I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best.”
”I dream in my dreams all the dreams of the other dreamers. And I become the other dreamers.«
”The future is no more uncertain than the present.”
”The truth is simple. If it was complicated, everyone would understand it.«
“Do anything, but let it produce joy.”
»All the things of the universe are perfect miracles, each as profound as any.«
»Re-examine all you have been told. Dismiss what insults your soul.«
“Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.”
Walt Whitman Quotes About Love
“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.”
”What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.”
“When one reaches out to help another he touches the face of God.”
”In the faces of men and women, I see God.”
”I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone, I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again, I am to see to it that I do not lose you.”
”I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.”
“We were together. I forget the rest.”
”Some people are so much sunshine to the square inch.”
“The sum of all known value and respect, I add up in you, whoever you are.”
Walt Whitman Quotes About Nature
”A morning glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. ”
”This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone 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.”
”The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual.”
”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.”
”Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.
”Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
”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.”
More About Walt Whitman
At the age of twelve he began to study printing and fell in love with the written word in reading the works of Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and the Bible.
Whitman worked as a printer in New York City, after that began his career as teacher in the one-room schoolhouses of Long Island. In1841, he turned to journalism as a full-time career.
He founded a weekly newspaper, The Long-Islander, and later edited a number of Brooklyn and New York papers.
Whitman transcends the boundaries of poetic form and writes poetry in the form of prose. He wrote openly about life, death, non-religious and religious spirituality, and sexuality, including prostitution. He is often labeled as the father of free verses, though he did not invent it.
Whitman was a Democrat before his time and to this day a role model for democratic poets of all nations and races. Because of the radically democratic aspects of his poetry, Whitman should be among the literary heroes who transcended the racist, religious, and sexual prejudices that pervaded all spheres of public life in the nineteenth century.
In the preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass, he wrote, “The poet’s proof is that his country absorbs him as lovingly as he absorbed it.” He was aware that a symbiotic relationship between the poet and society was important. Instead of using a sublime hero, he assumed the identity of ordinary people.
Some statements about him:
Mary Smith Whitall Costelloe, wrote: “You cannot really understand America without Walt Whitman, without Leaves of Grass … He has expressed that civilization, ‘up to date,’ as he would say, and no student of the philosophy of history can do without him.”
Ezra Pound called Whitman “America’s poet … He is America.”
Andrew Carnegie called him “the great poet of America so far”
William Sloane Kennedy speculated that “people will be celebrating the birth of Walt Whitman as they are now the birth of Christ”
Leaves of Grass
Song of Myself
Poetry and Prose
The Portable Walt Whitman
Franklin Evans, or the Inebriate: A Tale of the Times
The Complete Poems
Civil War Poetry and Prose
Poetry and Prose
Walt Whitman’s Diary: A Summer in Canada, 1880
“To have great poets, there must be great audiences.”
Data on Walt Whitman are summarized by Wikipedia.