The Best Walt Whitman quotes

Walt Whitman quotes thumbnail

Known as the bard of democracy, Walt Whitman was one of America’s most influential poets. His work celebrated the human spirit and urged people to embrace change. This quotes compilation traces Whitman’s life from his early childhood to his years as a successful poet. It also includes excerpts from his poetry that reflect his unique perspective on life.

We are glad to present you the most known Soul, Love, Universe, Giving, Night, Life, Earth Love, Famous, Nature, Poem Love, Love Poem quotes from Walt Whitman, and much more.


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About Walt Whitman

birth of the author

May 31, 1819

death of the author

March 26, 1892

occupation of the author

Poet, Essayist


When I give I give myself. — Walt Whitman

Give me solitude, give me Nature, give me again O Nature your primal sanities! — Walt Whitman

Behold i do not give lectures or a little charity, when i give i give myself. — Walt Whitman

The habit of giving only enhances The desire to give. — Walt Whitman

when i give i give myself Walt Whitman quote

In america the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their Inexperience. — Walt Whitman

Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full–dazzling. — Walt Whitman

Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard.’ [Give me the splendid silent sun] — Walt Whitman

I speak the password primeval; I give the sign of democracy. — Walt Whitman

Give me such shows–give me the streets of Manhattan! — Walt Whitman

give me solitude give me nature give me again o nature your primal sanities Walt Whitman quote

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. — Walt Whitman

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? — Walt Whitman

Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed. — Walt Whitman

Love the earth and sun and animals, Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, Stand up for the stupid and crazy, Devote your income and labor to others… And your very flesh shall be a great poem. — Walt Whitman

Now, dearest comrade, lift me to your face, We must separate awhileHere! take from my lips this kiss. Whoever you are, I give it especially to you; So long!And I hope we shall meet again. — Walt Whitman

behold i do not give lectures or a little charity when i give i give myself Walt Whitman quote

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. — Walt Whitman

The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. — Walt Whitman


Only themselves understand themselves and the like of themselves, As souls only understand souls. — Walt Whitman

What was Walt Whitman’s early life like?

Walt Whitman spent his childhood in New York, where he was first employed at age 12 as a printer.

He later held jobs as a newspaper editor and a schoolteacher. During this time he began publishing poems in popular magazines.

I loafe and invite my soul. — Walt Whitman

Whatever satisfies the soul is truth. — Walt Whitman

i loafe and invite my soul Walt Whitman quote

Dismiss whatever insults your soul. — Walt Whitman

Clear and sweet is my soul, clear and sweet is all that is not my soul. — Walt Whitman

I see behind each mask that wonder a kindred soul. — Walt Whitman

And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul? — Walt Whitman

Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes. — Walt Whitman

whatever satisfies the soul is truth Walt Whitman quote

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. — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman

Be not ashamed women, … You are the gates of the body, and you are the gates of the soul. — Walt Whitman

Logic and sermons never convince, The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul. — Walt Whitman

We also ascend dazzling and tremendous as the sun, We found our own O my soul in the calm and cool of the daybreak. — Walt Whitman

dismiss whatever insults your soul Walt Whitman quote

Re–examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults your soul. — Walt Whitman

To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls. — Walt Whitman

What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to walk free and own no superior? — Walt Whitman

A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibility of their own souls. — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman

clear and sweet is my soul clear and sweet is all that is not my soul Walt Whitman quote

Americans should know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls. — Walt Whitman

Sail Forth–Steer for the deep waters only. Reckless O soul, exploring. I with thee and thou with me. For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared go. And we will risk the ship, ourselves, and all. — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman

And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels. — Walt Whitman


Where the earth is, we are. — Walt Whitman

where the earth is we are Walt Whitman quote

Each of us inevitable; Each of us limitless–each of us with his or her right upon the earth. — Walt Whitman

The earth, that is sufficient, I do not want the constellations any nearer, I know they are very well where they are, I know they suffice for those who belong to them. — Walt Whitman

There can be no theory of any account unless it corroborate with the theory of the earth. — Walt Whitman

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

Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth ever afterward resumes its liberty. — Walt Whitman

there can be no theory of any account unless it corroborate with the theory of the earth Walt Whitman quote

I say the whole earth and all the stars in the sky are for religion’s sake. — Walt Whitman

And I or you pocketless of a dime, may purchase the pick of the earth. — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman

Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? have you reckon’d the earth much? Have you practis’d so long to learn to read? Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems? — Walt Whitman

The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections. — Walt Whitman

i say the whole earth and all the stars in the sky are for religion s sake Walt Whitman quote

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. — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman

What is Leaves of Grass?

The verse collection Leaves of Grass is Walt Whitman’s best-known work.

He revised and added to the collection throughout his life, producing ultimately nine editions.

The poems were written in a new form of free verse and contained controversial subject matter for which they were censured.


I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall be complete, The earth remains jagged and broken only to him or her who remains jagged and broken. — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman

O Earth, that hast no voice, confide to me a voice! O harvest of my lands! O boundless summer growths! O lavish, brown, parturient earth! O infinite, teeming womb! A verse to seek, to see, to narrate thee. — Walt Whitman

My spirit has pass’d in compassion and determination around the whole earth. I have look’d for equals and lovers an found them ready for me in all lands, I think some divine rapport has equalized me with them — Walt Whitman

Redundant Thematics

In Walt Whitman Statements


Those who love each other shall become invincible. — Walt Whitman

The past, the future, majesty, love–if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them. — Walt Whitman

Dearest comrades, all is over and long gone, But love is not over. — Walt Whitman

I will write the evangel–poem of comrades and of love. — Walt Whitman

those who love each other shall become invincible Walt Whitman quote

People who serve you without love get even behind your back. — Walt Whitman

Now I see that there is no such thing as love unreturn’d. The pay is certain, one way or another. — Walt Whitman

Be not dishearten’d––Affection shall solve the problems of Freedom yet; Those who love each other shall become invincible. — Walt Whitman

O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you, you express me better than I can express myself. — Walt Whitman

O magnet–South! O glistening perfumed South! My South! O quick mettle, rich blood, impulse and love! Good and evil! O all dear to me! — Walt Whitman

the past the future majesty love if they are vacant of you you are vacant of them Walt Whitman quote

The Americans, like the English, probably make love worse than any other race. — Walt Whitman

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

I love doctors and hate their medicine. — Walt Whitman

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you/ That you may be my poem/ I whisper with my lips close to your ear/ I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you. — Walt Whitman

What is Walt Whitman’s legacy?

Walt Whitman’s poetry was innovative for its verse style and for the way it challenged traditional narratives.

He championed the individual soul over social conventions, presenting himself as a rough and free spirit.

His poetry has continued to resonate with new generations of Americans, and he is considered a symbol of American democracy. .

The female that loves unrequited sleeps, And the male that loves unrequited sleeps, The head of the money–maker that plotted all day sleeps, And the enraged and treacherous dispositions, all, all sleep. — Walt Whitman

dearest comrades all is over and long gone but love is not over Walt Whitman quote

Now I will do nothing but listen to accrue what I hear into 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. — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman


Answer that you are here–––that life exists and identity, that the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman

The question, O me! so sad, recurring–What good amid these, O me, O life? That you are here–that life exists and identity, that the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. — Walt Whitman

the fruition of beauty is no chance of hit or miss it is inevitable as life Walt Whitman quote

Praised be the fathomless universe, for life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious. — Walt Whitman

The fruition of beauty is no chance of hit or miss… it is inevitable as life. — Walt Whitman

You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life. — Walt Whitman

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 will ever take command of me. — Walt Whitman

Have you not learned the most in your life from those with whom you disagreed–those who saw it differently from you? — Walt Whitman

you must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life Walt Whitman quote

O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life? — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman

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

The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted, Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find. — Walt Whitman

Sure as Life holds all parts together, Death holds all parts together. — Walt Whitman

We arrange our lives–even the best and boldest men and women that exist, just as much as the most limited–with reference to what society conventionally rules and makes right. — Walt Whitman


And that all the things of the universe are perfect miracles, each as profound as any. — Walt Whitman

The whole purpose of the universe is unerringly aimed at one thing–you. — Walt Whitman

I heard what was said of the universe, heard it and heard it of several thousand years; it is middling well as far as it goes–but is that all? — Walt Whitman

All is procession; the universe is a procession with measured and beautiful motion. — Walt Whitman

and that all the things of the universe are perfect miracles each as profound as any Walt Whitman quote

The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual. — Walt Whitman

There is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the wheeled universe. — Walt Whitman


Day by day and night by night we were together–all else has long been forgotten by me. — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman

To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle. — Walt Whitman

day by day and night by night we were together all else has long been forgotten by me Walt Whitman quote

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d / And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night, / I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever–returning spring. — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman

That the hands of the sisters Death and Night incessantly softly wash again and ever again, this soiled world. — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman

Press close, bare–bosomed Night! Press close, magnetic, nourishing Night! Night of south winds! Night of the large, few stars! Still, nodding Night! Mad, naked, Summer Night! — Walt Whitman

to me every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle Walt Whitman quote

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. — Walt Whitman

O to be self–balanced for contingencies, to confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as the trees and animals do. — Walt Whitman

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. — Walt Whitman

Comerado, this is no book,Who touches this, touches a man,(Is it night? Are we here alone?)It is I you hold, and who holds you,I spring from the pages into your arms–decease calls me forth. — Walt Whitman

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