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Best Famous Walt Whitman Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Walt Whitman poems. This is a select list of the best famous Walt Whitman poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Walt Whitman poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of walt whitman poems.

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Written by Walt Whitman |

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather'd every rack, 
the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, 
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart! 
O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up- for you the flag is flung- for you the bugle trills, For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths- for you the shores a-crowding, For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head! It is some dream that on the deck, You've fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still, My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will, The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done, From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won; Exult O shores, and ring O bells! But I with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.

Written by Walt Whitman |

I Hear America Singing

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear, 
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong, 
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, 
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work, 
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand 
singing on the steamboat deck, 
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands, 
The wood-cutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning, or 
at noon intermission or at sundown, 
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of 
the girl sewing or washing, 
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else, 
The day what belongs to the day--at night the party of young fellows, 
robust, friendly, 
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

Written by Walt Whitman |

Beautiful Women.

 WOMEN sit, or move to and fro—some old, some young; 
The young are beautiful—but the old are more beautiful than the young.

More great poems below...

Written by Walt Whitman |

I Sit and Look Out.

 I SIT and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all oppression and shame; 
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with themselves, remorseful after
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt,
I see the wife misused by her husband—I see the treacherous seducer of young women; 
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be hid—I see these
 sights on
 the earth;
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny—I see martyrs and prisoners; 
I observe a famine at sea—I observe the sailors casting lots who shall be
 kill’d, to
 preserve the lives of the rest; 
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor,
 negroes, and the like; 
All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon, 
See, hear, and am silent.

Written by Walt Whitman |

As I Watch'd the Ploughman Ploughing.

 AS I watch’d the ploughman ploughing, 
Or the sower sowing in the fields—or the harvester harvesting, 
I saw there too, O life and death, your analogies: 
(Life, life is the tillage, and Death is the harvest according.

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

A Supermarket in California

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whit- 
man, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees 
with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations! What peaches and what penumbras! Whole fam- ilies shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons? I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel? I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.
Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour.
Which way does your beard point tonight? (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.
) Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming ofthe lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage? Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage- teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?

Written by Walt Whitman |

O Me! O Life!

 O ME! O life!.
of the questions of these recurring; Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish; Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d; Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me; Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined; The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer.
That you are here—that life exists, and identity; That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

Written by Walt Whitman |

An Old Man's Thought of School.

 AN old man’s thought of School; 
An old man, gathering youthful memories and blooms, that youth itself cannot.
Now only do I know you! O fair auroral skies! O morning dew upon the grass! And these I see—these sparkling eyes, These stores of mystic meaning—these young lives, Building, equipping, like a fleet of ships—immortal ships! Soon to sail out over the measureless seas, On the Soul’s voyage.
Only a lot of boys and girls? Only the tiresome spelling, writing, ciphering classes? Only a Public School? Ah more—infinitely more; (As George Fox rais’d his warning cry, “Is it this pile of brick and mortar—these dead floors, windows, rails—you call the church? Why this is not the church at all—the Church is living, ever living Souls.
”) And you, America, Cast you the real reckoning for your present? The lights and shadows of your future—good or evil? To girlhood, boyhood look—the Teacher and the School.

Written by Walt Whitman |

A Farm-Picture.

 THROUGH the ample open door of the peaceful country barn, 
A sun-lit pasture field, with cattle and horses feeding; 
And haze, and vista, and the far horizon, fading away.

Written by Walt Whitman |

A Noiseless Patient Spider

A noiseless patient spider,
I marked where on a promontory it stood isolated,
Marked how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them, Till the bridge you will need be formed, till the ductile anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Written by Walt Whitman |

No Labor-Saving Machine.

 NO labor-saving machine, 
Nor discovery have I made; 
Nor will I be able to leave behind me any wealthy bequest to found a hospital or library, 
Nor reminiscence of any deed of courage, for America, 
Nor literary success, nor intellect—nor book for the book-shelf;
Only a few carols, vibrating through the air, I leave, 
For comrades and lovers.

Written by Walt Whitman |

A Riddle Song.

 THAT which eludes this verse and any verse, 
Unheard by sharpest ear, unform’d in clearest eye or cunningest mind, 
Nor lore nor fame, nor happiness nor wealth, 
And yet the pulse of every heart and life throughout the world incessantly, 
Which you and I and all pursuing ever ever miss,
Open but still a secret, the real of the real, an illusion, 
Costless, vouchsafed to each, yet never man the owner, 
Which poets vainly seek to put in rhyme, historians in prose, 
Which sculptor never chisel’d yet, nor painter painted, 
Which vocalist never sung, nor orator nor actor ever utter’d,
Invoking here and now I challenge for my song.
Indifferently, ’mid public, private haunts, in solitude, Behind the mountain and the wood, Companion of the city’s busiest streets, through the assemblage, It and its radiations constantly glide.
In looks of fair unconscious babes, Or strangely in the coffin’d dead, Or show of breaking dawn or stars by night, As some dissolving delicate film of dreams, Hiding yet lingering.
Two little breaths of words comprising it.
Two words, yet all from first to last comprised in it.
How ardently for it! How many ships have sail’d and sunk for it! How many travelers started from their homes and ne’er return’d! How much of genius boldly staked and lost for it! What countless stores of beauty, love, ventur’d for it! How all superbest deeds since Time began are traceable to it—and shall be to the end! How all heroic martyrdoms to it! How, justified by it, the horrors, evils, battles of the earth! How the bright fascinating lambent flames of it, in every age and land, have drawn men’s eyes, Rich as a sunset on the Norway coast, the sky, the islands, and the cliffs, Or midnight’s silent glowing northern lights unreachable.
Haply God’s riddle it, so vague and yet so certain, The soul for it, and all the visible universe for it, And heaven at last for it.

Written by Walt Whitman |

A Clear Midnight.

 THIS is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless, 
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done, 
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best.
Night, sleep, and the stars.

Written by Walt Whitman |

As I Ponder'd in Silence.

AS I ponder’d in silence, 
Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long, 
A Phantom arose before me, with distrustful aspect, 
Terrible in beauty, age, and power, 
The genius of poets of old lands,
As to me directing like flame its eyes, 
With finger pointing to many immortal songs, 
And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said; 
Know’st thou not, there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards? 
And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles,
The making of perfect soldiers? 

Be it so, then I answer’d, 
I too, haughty Shade, also sing war—and a longer and greater one than
Waged in my book with varying fortune—with flight, advance, and
 retreat—Victory deferr’d and wavering, 
(Yet, methinks, certain, or as good as certain, at the last,)—The
 field the world;
For life and death—for the Body, and for the eternal Soul, 
Lo! too am come, chanting the chant of battles, 
I, above all, promote brave soldiers.

Written by Walt Whitman |

Are You the New person drawn toward Me?

 ARE you the new person drawn toward me? 
To begin with, take warning—I am surely far different from what you suppose; 
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal? 
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover? 
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy’d satisfaction?
Do you think I am trusty and faithful? 
Do you see no further than this façade—this smooth and tolerant manner of me? 
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man? 
Have you no thought, O dreamer, that it may be all maya, illusion?