Timeless Walt Whitman Quotes Anyone Can Appreciate


An original New Yorker, Walt Whitman was one impressive poet. Most famous for Leaves of Grass, he was passionate about words. Each of these Walt Whitman quotes showcases the mastery this man had for poetry.

Whitman was not born into an affluent family. Everything he knew about writing and literature he taught himself. As one of 9 children, he had a lot of time to himself as a child to read. And, so he did. This ultimately transformed his entire life.

A teacher turned journalist, Whitman worked hard to make writing his full-time career. He even went on to found his own newspaper, the Long-Islander. Remember, this was the 19th century. It was a time when newspapers were all the jazz!

Walt Whitman | Poetry Foundation

During all of this, Whitman managed to work on the poetry that would put his name on the map forever. Leaves of Grass was published in 1855. But, one edition did not satisfy Whitman. He edited the book until he was on his deathbed. We aren’t joking here.

Whether you’re a poetry fan or not, you can find a deep appreciation for Walt Whitman’s quotes. They showcase the brilliance of this man’s poetry skills.

The Best Walt Whitman Quotes

  1. “But poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.”
  2. “Peace is always beautiful.”
  3. “The truth is simple. If it was complicated, everyone would understand it.”
  4. “Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.”
  5. “You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life.”
  6. “There are the days that must happen to you.”
  7. “Re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem.”
  8. “I am satisfied… I see, dance, laugh, sing.”
  9. “To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle.”Walt Whitman quotes
  10. “Clear and sweet is my soul, clear and sweet is all that is not my soul.”
  11. “[Animals] They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins.”
  12. “A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.”
  13. “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?”
  14. “Whoever is not in his coffin and the dark grave, let him know he has enough.”
  15. “We were together. I forget the rest.”
  16. “Happiness, not in another place but this place… not for another hour, but this hour.”
  17. “I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”
  18. “You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself.”
  19. “I am larger, better than I thought; I did not know I held so much goodness. All seems beautiful to me. Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me; Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed, and shall bless me.”
  20. “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.”Mars Stolen Away: The Genius Of The American Poet Walt Whitman - Modern  Diplomacy
  21. “I laugh at what you call dissolution, and I know the amplitude of time.”
  22. “Dazzling and tremendous how quick the sunrise would kill me, if I could not now and always send sunrise out of me.”
  23. “Agonies are one of my changes of garments.”
  24. “I celebrate myself, and sing myself. And what I assume you shall assume. For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
  25. “Resist much, obey little.”
  26. “I refuse putting from me the best that I am.”
  27. “And as to me, I know nothing else but miracles.”
  28. “Keep your face always toward the sunshine — and shadows will fall behind you.”
  29. “Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse unreturn’d love, but now I think there is no unreturn’d love, the pay is certain one way or another”Walt Whitman quotes
  30. “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.”
  31. “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?”
  32. “The future is no more uncertain than the present.”

We definitely cannot write words like Whitman. But, we sure can appreciate them by reading Walt Whitman quotes. If you have any poetry fans in your life, be sure to share one of these quotes. They may even recognize a few from Leaves of Grass!

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