Top 50+ Walt Whitman Quotes


Walt Whitman was born on the 31st May 1819 and is an influential American poet, as well as a journalist and essayist. He incorporated multiple theories in his work, including realism and transcendentalism, two popular philosophical beliefs during his lifetime, as well as his own natural beliefs as a humanist. Whilst he is referred to as one of the most influential poets in American literature, this was not the case whilst he was alive. Some of his poetry was seen as obscene and perhaps this was due in part to the focus on his own personal life and presumed homosexuality.

Whitman worked as a teacher and journalist during his lifetime, leaving formal schooling at the age of 11. This didn’t stop his writing and in 1855, he published perhaps his most famous work, Leaves of Grass, without any financial support from others. Throughout the American Civil War, he worked in hospitals and this can be seen in his poetry, which incorporated themes of healing and loss. Further emotive poems were written after Abraham Lincolns death, ‘O Captain! O Captain!’ being one of them.

A literary master whose influence still resonates with modern-day writers and poets, every budding writer should read his work and reflect on his most famous quotes.

1. “I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.” – Walt Whitman

2. “Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults your soul.” – Walt Whitman

3. “Simplicity is the glory of expression.” – Walt Whitman

4. “Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” ― Walt Whitman

5. “Peace is always beautiful.” – Walt Whitman

6. “Pointing to another world will never stop vice among us; shedding light over this world can alone help us.” – Walt Whitman

7. “I am satisfied… I see, dance, laugh, sing.” – Walt Whitman

8. ”The future is no more uncertain than the present.” – Walt Whitman

9. “Every hour of every day is an unspeakably perfect miracle.” – Walt Whitman

10. “All beauty comes from beautiful blood and a beautiful brain.” – Walt Whitman

11. “I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best.” – Walt Whitman

12. “Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.” – Walt Whitman

13. “Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.” ― Walt Whitman

14. “To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.” – Walt Whitman

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

16. “In the faces of men and women, I see God.” – Walt Whitman

17. “Either define the moment or the moment will define you.” – Walt Whitman

18. “Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.” – Walt Whitman

19. “Only themselves understand themselves and the like of themselves, As souls only understand souls.” – Walt Whitman

20. “Whoever is not in his coffin and the dark grave, let him know he has enough.” ― Walt Whitman

21. “Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” ― Walt Whitman

22. “Be curious, not judgmental.” – Walt Whitman

23. “I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.” – Walt Whitman

24. “Do anything, but let it produce joy.” – Walt Whitman

25. “If you done it, it ain’t bragging.” ― Walt Whitman

26. ”If anything is sacred the human body is sacred.” – Walt Whitman

27. “Nothing can happen more beautiful than death. ” ― Walt Whitman

28. “The strongest and sweetest songs yet remain to be sung.” ― Walt Whitman

29. “When one reaches out to help another he touches the face of God.” – Walt Whitman

30. “I refuse putting from me the best that I am.” ― Walt Whitman

31. ”I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.” ― Walt Whitman

32. ”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.”― Walt Whitman

33. “I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake.” – Walt Whitman

34. ”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?” ― Walt Whitman

35. “There is no God any more divine than Yourself.” – Walt Whitman

36. “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.” ― Walt Whitman

37. “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.” – Walt Whitman

38. “To have great poets, there must be great audiences.” ― Walt Whitman

39. “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.” ― Walt Whitman

40. “The truth is simple. If it was complicated, everyone would understand it.” – Walt Whitman

41. “Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.” – Walt Whitman

42. “Judging from the main portions of the history of the world, so far, justice is always in jeopardy.” ― Walt Whitman

43. “It makes such difference where you read” ― Walt Whitman

44. “We were together. I forget the rest.” ― Walt Whitman

45. “I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.” ― Walt Whitman

46. “A blade of grass is the journeywork of the stars” ― Walt Whitman

47. “In the confusion we stay with each other, happy to be together, speaking without uttering a single word.” –
Walt Whitman

48. “The sum of all known value and respect, I add up in you, whoever you are.” –Walt Whitman

49. “I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least.” – Walt Whitman

50. “To the real artist in humanity, what are called bad manners are often the most picturesque and significant of all. ” ― Walt Whitman

51. “From this hour, freedom! Going where I like, my own master…”― Walt Whitman

52. “To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.”― Walt Whitman

53. “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. ”― Walt Whitman

54. “When the materials are ready, the architects shall appear.”― Walt Whitman

55. “My voice goes after what my eyes cannot reach, with the twirl of my tongue I encompass words and volumes of words.”― Walt Whitman

56. “I swear I begin to see the meaning of these things. It is not the earth, it is not America, who is so great, it is I who am great or to be great…”― Walt Whitman

57. “To me, every cubic inch of space is a miracle.”― Walt Whitman

58. “Sure as Life holds all parts together, Death holds all parts together.”― Walt Whitman

59. “There will never be any more perfection than there is now.”― Walt Whitman

60. “Be curious not judgemental.”― Walt Whitman


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