Walt Whitman (1819-1892), an iconic American poet, journalist and essayist, is renowned for his collection “Leaves of Grass”, a groundbreaking work that celebrated the beauty of the human body, health and sexuality, defying conventional poetic norms.
Whitman’s writing, drawing upon his personal experiences and idealized notions of democratic American life, was initially too controversial for widespread acceptance.
However, it drew praise from influencers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and significantly impacted both American and global literature.
“Leaves of Grass”, including notable poems like “I Sing the Body Electric”, “Song of Myself” and the poignant Lincoln elegies, underwent significant expansion across multiple editions.
Whitman’s profound influence persists, seen in the works of poets such as Pablo Neruda, Fernando Pessoa and Allen Ginsberg.
I have picked some of the most thoughtful quotes by Walt Whitman in this post.
Best Walt Whitman Quotes
Agonies are one of my changes of garments. ~ Walt Whitman.
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear. ~ Walt Whitman.
I have no mockings or arguments; I witness and wait. ~ Walt Whitman.
If you want me again look for me under your boot soles. ~ Walt Whitman.
I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ~ Walt Whitman.
Whoever degrades another degrades me. ~ Walt Whitman.
Unscrew the locks from the doors ! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs! ~ Walt Whitman.
The future is no more uncertain than the present. ~ Walt Whitman.
I accept reality and dare not question it. ~ Walt Whitman.
Be curious, not judgmental. ~ Walt Whitman.
I am larger, better than I thought; I did not know I held so much goodness. ~ Walt Whitman.
Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won. ~ Walt Whitman.
Whoever you are, motion and reflection are especially for you, The divine ship sails the divine sea for you. ~ Walt Whitman.
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. ~ Walt Whitman.
Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you. ~ Walt Whitman.
I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends. ~ Walt Whitman.
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. ~ Walt Whitman.
We were together. I forget the rest. ~ Walt Whitman.
Every hour of every day is an unspeakably perfect miracle. ~ Walt Whitman.
I exist as I am, that is enough. ~ Walt Whitman.
Top Walt Whitman Quotes
Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me. ~ Walt Whitman.
Resist much, obey little. ~ Walt Whitman.
Touch me, touch the palm of your hand to my body as I pass,
Be not afraid of my body. ~ Walt Whitman.
Strong and content I travel the open road. ~ Walt Whitman.
Behold I do not give lectures or a little charity, When I give I give myself. ~ Walt Whitman.
Simplicity is the glory of expression. ~ Walt Whitman.
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.
I have learned that to be with those I like is enough. ~ Walt Whitman.
Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes. ~ Walt Whitman.
I am large, I contain multitudes. ~ Walt Whitman.
I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. ~ Walt Whitman.
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars. ~ Walt Whitman.
Do anything, but let it produce joy. ~ Walt Whitman.
Inspirational Walt Whitman Quotes
These are the days that must happen to you. ~ Walt Whitman.
I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best. ~ Walt Whitman.
The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem. ~ Walt Whitman.
What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life. ~ 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.
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. ~ Walt Whitman.
Me imperturbe, standing at ease in nature. ~ Walt Whitman.
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.
To have great poets, there must be great audiences. ~ 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.
When one reaches out to help another he touches the face of God. ~ Walt Whitman.
Some people are so much sunshine to the square inch. ~ Walt Whitman.
We all have great things on our bucket lists like skydiving, seeing the Northern Lights etc, but what about simply falling in love? Isn’t that the most amazing thing we can do? ~ Walt Whitman.
I will sleep no more but arise, You oceans that have been calm within me! how I feel you, fathomless, stirring, preparing unprecedented waves and storms. ~ 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.
All truths wait in all things. ~ Walt Whitman.
Thoughtful Walt Whitman Quotes
And your very flesh shall be a great poem. ~ Walt Whitman.
We convince by our presence. ~ Walt Whitman.
Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged. Missing me one place, search another. I stop somewhere waiting for you. ~ Walt Whitman.
If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred. ~ Walt Whitman.
The gift is to the giver, and comes back most to him – it cannot fail. ~ Walt Whitman.
Americans should know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls. ~ Walt Whitman.
I and this mystery, here we stand. ~ Walt Whitman.
Day by day and night by night we were together – all else has long been forgotten by me. ~ Walt Whitman.
My words itch at your ears till you understand them. ~ Walt Whitman.
Wise Walt Whitman Quotes
Nothing endures but personal qualities. ~ Walt Whitman.
O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done. ~ Walt Whitman.
I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person. ~ Walt Whitman.
Re-examine all you have been told in school and in church Or in any book, dismiss what insults your own soul and your very flesh shall be a great poem. ~ Walt Whitman.
I sing the body that is electric! I celebrate the Self yet to be unveiled! ~ 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.
This is what you should do; love the Earth and sun and the animals… ~ Walt Whitman.
I think I could always live with animals. The more you’re around people, the more you love animals. ~ Walt Whitman.
The real war will never get in the books. ~ 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.
Famous Walt Whitman Quotes
Either define the moment or the moment will define you. ~ Walt Whitman.
In the faces of men and women, I see God. ~ Walt Whitman.
I tramp a perpetual journey. ~ Walt Whitman.
Camerado! This is no book; who touches this touches a man. ~ Walt Whitman.
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. ~ Walt Whitman.
Pointing to another world will never stop vice among us; shedding light over this world can alone help us. ~ Walt Whitman.
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. ~ Walt Whitman.
I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell. ~ Walt Whitman.
Nothing can happen more beautiful than death. ~ Walt Whitman.
When I give, I give myself. ~ Walt Whitman.
If you done it, it ain’t bragging. ~ Walt Whitman.
Inspiring Walt Whitman Quotes
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.
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. ~ Walt Whitman.
When the materials are ready, the architects shall appear. ~ Walt Whitman.
The earth does not argue, Is not pathetic, has no arrangements, Does not scream, haste, persuade, threaten, promise, Makes no discriminations, has no conceivable failures, Closes nothing, refuses nothing, shuts none out. ~ Walt Whitman.
All beauty comes from beautiful blood and a beautiful brain. ~ Walt Whitman.
I loafe and invite my soul. ~ Walt Whitman.
Popular Walt Whitman Quotes
Dismiss whatever insults your soul. ~ Walt Whitman.
Every moment of light and dark is a miracle. ~ Walt Whitman.
The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. ~ Walt Whitman.
Give me the splendid, silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling. ~ Walt Whitman.
I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. ~ Walt Whitman.
The truth is simple. If it was complicated, everyone would understand it. ~ Walt Whitman.
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.
I celebrate myself, and sing myself. ~ Walt Whitman.
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. ~ Walt Whitman.
I love doctors and hate their medicine. ~ Walt Whitman.
Unique Walt Whitman Quotes
Whatever satisfies the soul is truth. ~ Walt Whitman.
Oh captain my captain. ~ Walt Whitman.
I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world. ~ Walt Whitman.
What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to walk free and own no superior? ~ Walt Whitman.
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. ~ Walt Whitman.
Surely whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her shall I follow. ~ Walt Whitman.
God is a mean-spirited, pugnacious bully bent on revenge against His children for failing to live up to his impossible standards. ~ Walt Whitman.
The ecstasy is so short but the forgetting is so long. ~ Walt Whitman.
Praised be the fathomless universe, for life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious. ~ Walt Whitman.
A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. ~ Walt Whitman.
Peace is always beautiful. ~ 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.
I am the man, I suffered, I was there. ~ Walt Whitman.
So these were the 109 top Walt Whitman quotes on love, nature and love.