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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 |

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.

More great poems below...

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 |

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 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?

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

Cosmopolitan Greetings

 To Struga Festival Golden Wreath Laureates
 & International Bards 1986

Stand up against governments, against God.
Stay irresponsible.
Say only what we know & imagine.
Absolutes are coercion.
Change is absolute.
Ordinary mind includes eternal perceptions.
Observe what's vivid.
Notice what you notice.
Catch yourself thinking.
Vividness is self-selecting.
If we don't show anyone, we're free to write anything.
Remember the future.
Advise only yourself.
Don't drink yourself to death.
Two molecules clanking against each other requires an observer to become scientific data.
The measuring instrument determines the appearance of the phenomenal world after Einstein.
The universe is subjective.
Walt Whitman celebrated Person.
We Are an observer, measuring instrument, eye, subject, Person.
Universe is person.
Inside skull vast as outside skull.
Mind is outer space.
"Each on his bed spoke to himself alone, making no sound.
" First thought, best thought.
Mind is shapely, Art is shapely.
Maximum information, minimum number of syllables.
Syntax condensed, sound is solid.
Intense fragments of spoken idiom, best.
Consonants around vowels make sense.
Savor vowels, appreciate consonants.
Subject is known by what she sees.
Others can measure their vision by what we see.
Candor ends paranoia.
Kral Majales June 25, 1986 Boulder, Colorado

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 |

To Oratists.

 TO oratists—to male or female, 
Vocalism, measure, concentration, determination, and the divine power to use words.
Are you full-lung’d and limber-lipp’d from long trial? from vigorous practice? from physique? Do you move in these broad lands as broad as they? Come duly to the divine power to use words? For only at last, after many years—after chastity, friendship, procreation, prudence, and nakedness; After treading ground and breasting river and lake; After a loosen’d throat—after absorbing eras, temperaments, races—after knowledge, freedom, crimes; After complete faith—after clarifyings, elevations, and removing obstructions; After these, and more, it is just possible there comes to a man, a woman, the divine power to use words.
Then toward that man or that woman, swiftly hasten all—None refuse, all attend; Armies, ships, antiquities, the dead, libraries, paintings, machines, cities, hate, despair, amity, pain, theft, murder, aspiration, form in close ranks; They debouch as they are wanted to march obediently through the mouth of that man, or that woman.
O I see arise orators fit for inland America; And I see it is as slow to become an orator as to become a man; And I see that all power is folded in a great vocalism.
Of a great vocalism, the merciless light thereof shall pour, and the storm rage, Every flash shall be a revelation, an insult, The glaring flame on depths, on heights, on suns, on stars, On the interior and exterior of man or woman, On the laws of Nature—on passive materials, On what you called death—(and what to you therefore was death, As far as there can be death.

Written by Walt Whitman |

We Two Boys Together Clinging.

 WE two boys together clinging, 
One the other never leaving, 
Up and down the roads going—North and South excursions making, 
Power enjoying—elbows stretching—fingers clutching, 
Arm’d and fearless—eating, drinking, sleeping, loving,
No law less than ourselves owning—sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening, 
Misers, menials, priests alarming—air breathing, water drinking, on the turf or the
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing, 
Fulfilling our foray.

Written by Walt Whitman |


 OF Justice—As if Justice could be anything but the same ample law, expounded by
 judges and saviors, 
As if it might be this thing or that thing, according to decisions.

Written by Walt Whitman |

Ah Poverties Wincings and Sulky Retreats.

 AH poverties, wincings, and sulky retreats! 
Ah you foes that in conflict have overcome me! 
(For what is my life, or any man’s life, but a conflict with foes—the old, the
You degradations—you tussle with passions and appetites; 
You smarts from dissatisfied friendships, (ah wounds, the sharpest of all;)
You toil of painful and choked articulations—you meannesses; 
You shallow tongue-talks at tables, (my tongue the shallowest of any;) 
You broken resolutions, you racking angers, you smother’d ennuis; 
Ah, think not you finally triumph—My real self has yet to come forth; 
It shall yet march forth o’ermastering, till all lies beneath me;
It shall yet stand up the soldier of unquestion’d victory.

Written by Walt Whitman |

Yet Yet Ye Downcast Hours.

YET, yet, ye downcast hours, I know ye also; 
Weights of lead, how ye clog and cling at my ankles! 
Earth to a chamber of mourning turns—I hear the o’erweening, mocking voice, 
Matter is conqueror—matter, triumphant only, continues onward.
2 Despairing cries float ceaselessly toward me, The call of my nearest lover, putting forth, alarm’d, uncertain, The Sea I am quickly to sail, come tell me, Come tell me where I am speeding—tell me my destination.
3 I understand your anguish, but I cannot help you, I approach, hear, behold—the sad mouth, the look out of the eyes, your mute inquiry, Whither I go from the bed I recline on, come tell me: Old age, alarm’d, uncertain—A young woman’s voice, appealing to me for comfort; A young man’s voice, Shall I not escape?

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 |

Still though the One I Sing.

 STILL, though the one I sing, 
(One, yet of contradictions made,) I dedicate to Nationality, 
I leave in him Revolt, (O latent right of insurrection! O quenchless, indispensable fire!)