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About Walt Whitman (quotes)



Walter “Walt” Whitman (1819 – 1892) was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.  Wikipedia

References:   Encyclopaedia Britannica   |   Biography.com

  

Walt Whitman (quotes)

Embrace life

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Life is a journey

  • I tramp a perpetual journey. 
  • Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It’s 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.
  • I henceforth tread the world, chaste, temperate, an early riser, a steady grower.
  • Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road. Healthy, free, the world before me. The long brown path before me leading me wherever I choose. Henceforth, I ask not good fortune, I myself am good fortune. Henceforth, I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing.
  • Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms, Strong and content I travel the open road.
  • Americans should know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.
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Embrace life

  • To drive free, to love free, to court destruction with taunts, to feed the remainder of life with one hour of fullness and freedom – one brief hour of madness and joy.
  • Forsake all inhibitions, Pursue thy dreams.
  • From this hour, I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines. Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute. Listening to others, and considering well what they say. Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating. Gently but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
  • 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 labour 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, re-examine 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.
  • The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.
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Embrace what you love

  • Well, every man has a religion; has something in heaven or earth which he will give up everything else for – something which absorbs him – which may be regarded by others as being useless – yet it is his dream, it is his lodestar, it is his master. That, whatever it is, seized upon me, made me its servant, slave – induced me to set aside the other ambitions a trail of glory in the heavens, which I followed, followed with a full heart. …When once I am convinced, I never let go…
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Celebrate yourself

  • I celebrate myself, and sing myself. 
  • I meet new Walt Whitmans everyday. There are a dozen of them afloat. I don’t know which Walt Whitman I am.
  • I am larger, better than I thought; I did not know I held so much goodness.
  • Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.
  • I exist as I am, that is enough.
  • I am not contain’d between my hat and boots.
  • I dote on myself. There is a lot of me and all so luscious.
  • Each of us inevitable; Each of us limitless-each of us with his or her right upon the earth.
  • I inhale great draught of space…the east and west are mine…and the north and south are mine…I am grandeur than I thought…I did not know i held so much goodness.
  • 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.
  • I am of old and young, of the foolish as much as the wise, Regardless of others, ever regardful of others, Maternal as well as paternal, a child as well as a man, Stuffed with the stuff that is course, and stuffed with the stuff that is fine …
  • I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable.  I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
  • I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best.
  • From this hour, I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines.
  • I have said that the soul is not more than the body, And I have said that the body is not more than the soul, And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one’s-self is.
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Celebrate wonder

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Celebrate the miracle that is all things

  • And as to me, I know nothing else but miracles.
  • All the things of the universe are perfect miracles, each as profound as any.
  • Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.
  • Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.
  • I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.
  • 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?
  • To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.
  • Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.
  • Why who makes much of a miracle? As to me I know nothing else but miracles, whether they be 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.
  • Oh, to be alive in such an age, when miracles are everywhere, and every inch of common air throbs a tremendous prophecy, of greater marvels yet to be.
  • amazement of things-even the least particle!
  • Every cubic inch of space is a miracle.
  • And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels.
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Celebrate wonder …

  • It alone is without flaw, It alone rounds and completes all, That mystic baffling wonder.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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… especially the beauty and wonder in nature …

  • A morning glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.  
  • Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard.  Give me the splendid silent sun. 
  • Give me the splendid silent sun, with all his beams full-dazzling.
  • Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons.  It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth.
  • The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first; Be not discouraged – keep on – there are divine things, well envelop’d; I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell. 
  • You must not know too much, or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and water-craft; a certain free margin, and even vagueness – perhaps ignorance, credulity – helps your enjoyment of these things… 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Where the earth is, we are.
  • I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journeywork of the stars, And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren, And the tree toad is a chef-d’oeurve for the highest, And the running blackberry would adorn the parlours of heaven, And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery, And the cow crunching with depress’d head surpasses any statue, And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels!
  • I lean and loaf at my ease… observing a spear of summer grass.
  • To behold the day-break!   The little light fades the immense and diaphanous shadows, The air tastes good to my palate.
  • Me imperturbe, standing at ease in nature.
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… and the wonder of the night sky

  • Logic and sermons never convince, The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.
  • Day full-blown and splendid-day of the immense sun, action, ambition, laughter, The Night follows close with millions of suns, and sleep and restoring darkness.
  • Over all the sky – the sky! Far, far out of reach, studded with eternal stars.
  • I open my scuttle at night and see the far-sprinkled systems, All all I see multiplied as high as I can cipher edge but the rim of the farther systems. Wider and wider they spread, expanding, always expanding, Outward and outward and forever outward.
  • When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
    When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
    When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
    When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
    How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
    Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
    In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
    Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
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Celebrate beauty

  • The fruition of beauty is no chance of hit or miss… it is inevitable as life.
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Celebrate love, compassion and connection

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Celebrate love

  • Those who love each other shall become invincible.
  • We were together. I forget the rest.
  • This is what you should do; love the Earth and sun and the animals…
  • Love, that is day and night – love, that is sun and moon and stars, Love, that is crimson, sumptuous, sick with perfume, no other words but words of love, no other thought but love.
  • The moon gives you light, and the bugles and the drums give you music, and my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans, my heart gives you love.
  • People who serve you without love get even behind your back.
  • Now I see that there is no such thing as love unreturn’d. The pay is certain, one way or another.
  • Dearest comrades, all is over and long gone, But love is not over…
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Celebrate compassion

  • I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.
  • And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral drest in his shroud.
  • The mother condemned for a witch and burnt with dry
    wood, and her children gazing on;
    The hounded slave that flags in the race and leans by the
    fence, blowing and covered with sweat,
    The twinges that sting like needles his legs and neck,
    The murderous buckshot and the bullets,
    All these I feel or am.
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Celebrate listening

  • I think I will do nothing for a long time but listen, and accrue what I hear into myself…and let sound contribute toward me.
  • Now I will do nothing but listen to accrue what I hear in this song. To let sounds contribute toward it. I hear the sound I love. The sound of the human voice. I hear all sounds running together.
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Celebrate human connection

  • In the confusion we stay with each other, happy to be together, speaking without uttering a single word.
  • I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.
  • 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?
  • What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.
  • When he whom I love travels with me or sits a long while holding me by the hand, … Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom, I am silent, I require nothing further, I cannot answer the question of appearances or that of identity beyond the grave, But I walk or sit indifferent, I am satisfied, He ahold of my hand has completely satisfied me.
  • Loafe with me on the grass—loose the stop from your throat; Not words, not music or rhyme I want—not custom or lecture, not even the best; Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.
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Celebrate friendship

  • I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.
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Celebrate generosity and giving

  • Behold I do not give lectures or a little charity, when I give I give myself.
  • When I give, I give myself.
  • The gift is to the giver, and comes back most to him – it cannot fail.
  • When one reaches out to help another he touches the face of God.
  • The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.
  • Charity and personal force are the only investments worth anything.
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Celebrate happiness and joy

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Celebrate waking up

  • I cannot be awake, for nothing looks to me as it did before, or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
  • You have not known what you are–you have slumber’d upon yourself all your life; Your eye-lids have been the same as closed most of the time.
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Celebrate happiness, contentment and joy

  • Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.
  • Do anything, but let it produce joy.
  • I am satisfied … I see, dance, laugh, sing.
  • the joy of my spirit – it is uncaged – it darts like lightning!
  • I exist as I am, that is enough,
    If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
    And if each and all be aware I sit content.
    One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that is myself,
    And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years,
    I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait.
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Celebrate the soul

  • Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.
  • What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to walk free and own no superior?
  • The soul is always beautiful, it appears more or it appears less, it comes or it lags behind, It comes from its embowered garden and looks pleasantly on itself and encloses the world.
  • soul
  • And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?
  • I see behind each mask that wonder a kindred soul, O the bullet could never kill what you really are, dear friend.
  • Clear and sweet is my soul, clear and sweet is all that is not my soul.
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Celebrate simplicity and simple living

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Celebrate simple living

  • The greatest country, the richest country, is not that which has the most capitalists, monopolists, immense grabbings, vast fortunes, with its sad, sad soil of extreme, degrading, damning poverty, but the land in which there are the most homesteads, freeholds – where wealth does not show such contrasts high and low, where all men have enough – a modest living- and no man is made possessor beyond the sane and beautiful necessities.
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Celebrate simplicity

  • Simplicity is the glory of expression. 
  • The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.
  • The truth is simple. If it was complicated, everyone would understand it.
  • The best writing has no lace on its sleeves.
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Celebrate wisdom, truth and learning

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Celebrate wisdom and truth

  • Re-examine all that you have been told in school, or in church or in any book. Dismiss whatever insults your soul.
  • Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.
  • Wisdom is not finally tested by the schools, Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it, Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof.
  • All truth waits in all things.
  • The road to wisdom is paved with excess. The mark of a true writer is their ability to mystify the familiar and familiarize the strange.
  • The truth is simple. If it was complicated, everyone would understand it.
  • All truths wait in all things, They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it.
  • Wisdom is not finally tested in schools, Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it, Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof, Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content, Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things; Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.
  • There is no flaw or vacuum in the amount of the truth – but all is truth without exception; And henceforth I will go celebrate anything I see or am, And sing and laugh and deny nothing.
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Celebrate learning

  • Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you?
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Celebrate knowledge

  • Great is the faith of the flush of knowledge and of the investigation of the depths of qualities and things.
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Celebrate paradox

  • Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large — I contain multitudes. 
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Celebrate failure

  • Have you heard that it was good to gain the day? I also say it is good to fall, battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.
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More things to celebrate

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Celebrate curiosity

  • Be curious, not judgmental.
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Celebrate the body

  • If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred. 
  • Touch me, touch the palm of your hand to my body as I pass, be not afraid of my body.
  • And your very flesh shall be a great poem.
  • I find no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones.
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Celebrate words

  • What beauty there is in words; what a lurking curious charm in the sound some words.
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Celebrate cheerfulness and optimism

  • Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.
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Celebrate the innate perfection of what is

  • 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.
  • In this broad earth of ours, Amid the measureless grossness and the slag, Enclosed and safe within its central heart, Nestles the seed of perfection.
  • There was never any more inception than there is now,
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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.
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Celebrate music

  • All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments. It is not the violins and the cornets-it is not the oboe nor the beating drums, nor the score of the baritone singer singing his sweet romanza-nor that of the women’s chorus; it is nearer and farther than they.
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Celebrate freedom

  • From this hour, freedom! Going where I like, my own master.
  • The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise man sees in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.
  • Oh, while I live, to be the ruler of life, not a slave, to meet life as a powerful conqueror, and nothing exterior to me shall ever take command of me.
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Celebrate peace

  • Peace is always beautiful.
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Celebrate possibility

  • A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibility of their own souls.
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Celebrate silence and stillness

  • Silence? What can New York-noisy, roaring, rumbling, tumbling, bustling, story, turbulent New York-have to do with silence? Amid the universal clatter, the incessant din of business, the all swallowing vortex of the great money whirlpool-who has any, even distant, idea of the profound repose……of silence?
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Celebrate being an artist

  • It is a beautiful truth that all men contain something of the artist in them. And perhaps it is the case that the greatest artists live and die, the world and themselves alike ignorant what they possess.
  • To the real artist in humanity, what are called bad manners are often the most picturesque and significant of all.
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Thoughts on God, religion and death

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Thoughts on death

  • I know I am deathless. No doubt I have died myself ten thousand times before. I laugh at what you call dissolution, and I know the amplitude of time.
  • Nothing can happen more beautiful than death.
  • And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.
  • Do you see O my brothers and sisters? It is not chaos or death, it is form, union, plan, it is eternal life, it is happiness.
  • I do not think seventy years is the time of a man or woman, Nor that seventy millions of years is the time of a man or woman, Nor that years will ever stop the existence of me, or anyone else.
  • Come lovely and soothing death, Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving, In the day, in the night, to all, to each, Sooner or later, delicate death.
  • I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash’d babe, and am not contained between my hat and my boots.
  • I see that I am to wait for what will be exhibited by death.
  • And as to you Death, and you bitter hug of mortality, it is idle to try to alarm me…. And as to you corpse, I think you are good manure, but that does not offend me, I smell the white roses sweet-scented and growing, I reach to the leafy lips — I reach to the polished breasts of melons. And as to you life, I reckon you are the leavings of many deaths, No doubt I have died myself ten thousand times before.
  • I swear I think there is nothing but immortality!
  • 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.
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Thoughts on God

  • I say to mankind, Be not curious about God. For I, who am curious about each, am not curious about God — I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least.
  • There is no God any more divine than Yourself.
  • I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least.
  • God is a mean-spirited, pugnacious bully bent on revenge against His children for failing to live up to his impossible standards.
  • In the faces of men and women, I see God.
  • I find letters from God dropt in the street, and everyone is sign’d by God’s name….
  • Why should I wish to see God better than this day? I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then, In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass; I find letters from God dropped in the street, and everyone is signed by God’s name, And I leave them where they are, for I know that others will punctually come forever and ever.
  • Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth, And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own, And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own, And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers, And that a kelson of the creation is love.
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Thoughts on religion

  • We consider bibles and religions divine. I do not say they are not divine. I say they have all grown out of you, and may grow out of you still. It is not they who give the life, it is you who give the life.
  • There will soon be no more priests… They may wait awhile, perhaps a generation or two, dropping off by degrees. A superior breed shall take their place. A new order shall arise and they shall be the priests of man, and every man shall be his own priest.
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Thoughts on reading and writing

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Thoughts on writing

  • The secret of it all, is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the moment – to put things down without deliberation – without worrying about their style – without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote – wrote, wrote…By writing at the instant the very heartbeat of life is caught.
  • The words of my book nothing, the drift of it everything.
  • A perfect writer would make words sing, dance, kiss, do the male and female act, bear children, weep, bleed, rage, stab, steal, fire cannon, steer ships, sack cities, charge with cavalry or infantry, or do anything that man or woman or the natural powers can do.
  • The best writing has no lace on its sleeves.
  • By writing at the instant, the very heartbeat of life is caught.
  • The road to wisdom is paved with excess. The mark of a true writer is their ability to mystify the familiar and familiarize the strange.
  • My little notebooks were beginnings – they were the ground into which I dropped the seed… I would work in this way when I was out in the crowds, then put the stuff together at home.
  • Everybody is writing, writing, writing – worst of all, writing poetry. It’d be better if the whole tribe of the scribblers – every damned one of us – were sent off somewhere with tool chests to do some honest work.
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Thoughts on being a poet

  • The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it.
  • To have great poets, there must be great audiences.
  • The poet judges not as a judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing.
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Thoughts on reading

  • Books are to be called for and supplied on the assumption that the process of reading is not a half-sleep, but in the highest sense an exercise, a gymnastic struggle; that the reader is to do something for himself.
  • Shut not your doors to me proud libraries.
  • The process of reading is not a half sleep, but in the highest sense, an exercise, a gymnast’s struggle: that the reader is to do something for him or herself, must be on the alert, just construct indeed the poem, argument, history, metaphysical essay–the text furnishing the hints, the clue, the start, the framework.
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Thoughts on worldly issues

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Thoughts on Science

  • I like the scientific spirit—the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine—it always keeps the way beyond open—always gives life, thought, affection, the whole man, a chance to try over again after a mistake—after a wrong guess.
  • Science, testing absolutely all thoughts, all works, has already burst well upon the world–a sun, mounting, most illuminating, most glorious–surely never again to set.
  • Note, to-day, an instructive, curious spectacle and conflict. Science, (twin, in its fields, of Democracy in its)—Science, testing absolutely all thoughts, all works, has already burst well upon the world—a sun, mounting, most illuminating, most glorious—surely never again to set. But against it, deeply entrench’d, holding possession, yet remains, (not only through the churches and schools, but by imaginative literature, and unregenerate poetry,) the fossil theology of the mythic-materialistic, superstitious, untaught and credulous, fable-loving, primitive ages of humanity.
  • Exact science and its practical movements are no checks on the greatest poet, but always his encouragement and support … The sailor and traveller, the anatomist, chemist, astronomer, geologist, phrenologist, spiritualist, mathematician, historian and lexicographer are not poets, but they are the lawgivers of poets and their construction underlies the structure of every perfect poem.
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Thoughts on democracy

  • I cannot too often repeat that Democracy is a word the real gist of which still sleeps, quite unawakened, notwithstanding the resonance and the many angry tempests out of which its syllables have come, from pen or tongue. It is a great word, whose history, I suppose, remains unwritten because that history has yet to be enacted.
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Thoughts on poverty

  • What a devil art thou, Poverty! How many desires – how many aspirations after goodness and truth – how many noble thoughts, loving wishes toward our fellows, beautiful imaginings thou hast crushed under thy heel, without remorse or pause!
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Thoughts on caring for the environment

  • Without enough wilderness America will change. Democracy, with its myriad personalities and increasing sophistication, must be fibred and vitalized by regular contact with outdoor growths – animals, trees, sun warmth and free skies – or it will dwindle and pale.
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Thoughts on justice

  • Judging from the main portions of the history of the world, so far, justice is always in jeopardy. 
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Thoughts on defiance

  • Resist much. Obey little.
  • How beggarly appear arguments before a defiant deed!
  • There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.
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Thoughts on censorship

  • The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.
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Thoughts on animals

  • I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self contained; I stand and look at them long and long. 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 his kind that lived thousands of years ago; Not one is responsible or industrious over the whole earth. 
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Thoughts on equality

  • Thought of equality- as if it harm’d me, giving others the same chances and rights as myself- as if it were not indispensable to my own rights that others possess the same.
  • And I will show of male and female that either is but the equal of the other.
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Thoughts on reform

  • The eager and often inconsiderate appeals of reformers and revolutionists are indispensable to counterbalance the inertia and fossilism marking so large a part of human institutions.
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Final thoughts

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Thoughts on understanding

  • Only themselves understand themselves and the like of themselves, as souls only understand souls.
  • My words itch at your ears till you understand them.
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Thoughts on acceptance

  • Here or henceforward it is all the same to me, I accept Time absolutely.
  • I accept reality and dare not question it.
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Thoughts on vice

  • Pointing to another world will never stop vice among us; shedding light over this world can alone help us.
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Thoughts on women

  • Be not ashamed women, … You are the gates of the body, and you are the gates of the soul.
  • A man is a great thing upon the earth and through eternity; but every jot of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman.
  • Women sit or move to and fro, some old, some young, The young are beautiful–but the old are more beautiful than the young.
  • A woman waits for me, she contains all, nothing lacking.
  • I am the poet of the woman the same as the man, And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man, And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of a man.
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Thoughts on youth and old age

  • Youth, large, lusty, loving — Youth, full of grace, force, fascination. Do you know that Old Age may come after you with equal grace, force, fascination?
  • Great is Youth–equally great is Old Age–great are Day and Night.  Great is Wealth–great is Poverty–great is Expression-great is Silence.
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More thoughts

  • There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius.
  • Some people are so much sunshine to the square inch.
  • There is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the wheeled universe.
  • I wear my hat as I please, indoors or out.
  • Let that which stood in front go behind, let that which was behind advance to the front, let bigots, fools, unclean persons, offer new propositions, let the old propositions be postponed.
  • Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.
  • Old age: The estuary that enlarges and spreads itself grandly as it pours into the Great Sea.
  • The whole purpose of the universe is unerringly aimed at one thing – you.
  • We convince by our presence.
  • The future is no more uncertain than the present.
  • All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor.
  • Produce great men, the rest follows.
  • The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual.
  • Nothing endures but personal qualities.
  • Whoever degrades another degrades me, And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.
  • The great city is that which has the greatest man or woman: if it be a few ragged huts, it is still the greatest city in the whole world.
  • Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
  • I dream in my dreams all the dreams of the other dreamers.  And I become the other dreamers.  
  • The ecstasy is so short but the forgetting is so long.
  • All is procession; the universe is a procession with measured and beautiful motion.
  • As soon as histories are properly told there is no more need of romances.
  • Agonies are one of my changes of garments.
  • The strongest and sweetest song remains to be sung.
  • Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space.
  • A simple separate person is not contained between his hat and his boots.
  • Out of every fruition of success, no matter what, comes forth something to make a new effort necessary.
  • Now understand me well. It is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.
  • I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked.
  • Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won.
  • The Past — the dark unfathomed retrospect! The teeming gulf –the sleepers and the shadows! The past! the infinite greatness of the past! For what is the present after all but a growth out of the past?
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On a lighter note

  • If you done it, it ain’t bragging.
  • I love doctors and hate their medicine.
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