Walt Whitman Quotes

Most popular Walt Whitman Quotes

When I give I give myself.


When I give, I give myself.
— Walt Whitman
Justice is always in jeopardy.


Simplicity is the glory of expression.
— Walt Whitman

simplicity glory

Strong and content I travel the open road.
— Walt Whitman
Love like the light silently wrapping all.
— Walt Whitman
The best writing has no lace on its sleeves.


Every hour of the light and dark is a miracle.
— Walt Whitman
If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred.
— Walt Whitman
If any thing is sacred the human body is sacred.


The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.


I never could explain why I love anybody, or anything.
— Walt Whitman
To have great poets, there must be great audiences, too.
— Walt Whitman
I have perceived that to be with those I like is enough.
— Walt Whitman

other people

The dirtiest book in all the world is the expurgated book.


Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune.
— Walt Whitman


Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.
— Walt Whitman


All beauty comes from beautiful blood and a beautiful brain.


The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.


By writing at the instant, the very heartbeat of life is caught.


I see great things in baseball. It's our game—the American game.
— Walt Whitman


He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher.


I was simmering, simmering, simmering; Emerson brought me to a boil.


I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait.
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.
All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments.
— Walt Whitman
Character and personal force are the only investments that are worth anything.
— Walt Whitman
He or she is greatest who contributes the greatest original practical example.
— Walt Whitman


To me every hour of light and dark is a miracle, every inch of space is miracle.
— Walt Whitman
How beautiful is candor! All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor.

shortcomings candor

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, every cubic inch of space is a miracle.
— Walt Whitman
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large - I contain multitudes.
— Walt Whitman

the self

Judging from the main portions of the history of the world, so far, justice is always in jeopardy.
— Walt Whitman


Re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, Dismiss whatever insults your own soul.
— Walt Whitman
A great city is that which has the greatest men and women, if it be a few ragged huts, it is still the greatest city in the world.
— Walt Whitman
There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius.
— Walt Whitman
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?

youth & 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?
— Walt Whitman
Have you not learned great lessons from those who reject you, and brace themselves against you? Or who treat you with contempt, or dispute the passage with you?
— Walt Whitman
Political democracy, as it exists and practically works in America, with all its threatening evils, supplies a training-school for making first-class men.  It is life's gymnasium.


Nature is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first
 Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop'd,
I swear to you there ate divine things more beautiful than words can tell.


... I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?


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.
— Walt Whitman
Judging from the main portions of the history of the world, justice is always in jeopardy, peace walks amid hourly pitfalls, and of slavery, meanness, the craft of tyrants, and the credulity of the populace...no voice can at any time say, "They are not."


I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd,
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.
— Walt Whitman


In old age, lame and sick...I find in this visit to New York, and the daily contact and rapport with its myriad people, on the scale of the oceans and tides, the best, most effective medicine my soul has yet partaken—the grandest physical habitat and surroundings of land and water the globe affords.

New York City

I believe in the flesh and the appetites; 
Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle. 
Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch'd from;
The scent of these arm-pits, aroma finer than prayer; 
This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds.
— Walt Whitman

miracles inspirational

After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on—have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear—what remains?  Nature remains; to bring out from their torpid recesses, the affinities of a man or woman with the open air, the trees, fields, the changes of seasons—the sun by day and the stars of heaven by night.