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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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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.


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.


by Walt Whitman | |

Others may Praise what They Like.

 OTHERS may praise what they like; 
But I, from the banks of the running Missouri, praise nothing, in art, or aught else, 
Till it has well inhaled the atmosphere of this river—also the western prairie-scent,

And fully exudes it again.


by Walt Whitman | |

World Take Good Notice.

 WORLD, take good notice, silver stars fading, 
Milky hue ript, weft of white detaching, 
Coals thirty-eight, baleful and burning, 
Scarlet, significant, hands off warning, 
Now and henceforth flaunt from these shores.
5


by Walt Whitman | |

As the Time Draws Nigh.

 1
AS the time draws nigh, glooming, a cloud, 
A dread beyond, of I know not what, darkens me.
I shall go forth, I shall traverse The States awhile—but I cannot tell whither or how long; Perhaps soon, some day or night while I am singing, my voice will suddenly cease.
2 O book, O chants! must all then amount to but this? Must we barely arrive at this beginning of us?.
.
.
And yet it is enough, O soul! O soul! we have positively appear’d—that is enough.


by Walt Whitman | |

To a Historian.

 YOU who celebrate bygones! 
Who have explored the outward, the surfaces of the races—the life that has
 exhibited itself; 
Who have treated of man as the creature of politics, aggregates, rulers and
 priests; 
I, habitan of the Alleghanies, treating of him as he is in himself, in his own
 rights, 
Pressing the pulse of the life that has seldom exhibited itself, (the great
 pride of man in himself;)
Chanter of Personality, outlining what is yet to be, 
I project the history of the future.


by Walt Whitman | |

To Foreign Lands.

 I HEARD that you ask’d for something to prove this puzzle, the New World, 
And to define America, her athletic Democracy; 
Therefore I send you my poems, that you behold in them what you wanted.


by Walt Whitman | |

When I read the Book.

 WHEN I read the book, the biography famous, 
And is this, then, (said I,) what the author calls a man’s life? 
And so will some one, when I am dead and gone, write my life? 
(As if any man really knew aught of my life; 
Why, even I myself, I often think, know little or nothing of my real life;
Only a few hints—a few diffused, faint clues and indirections, 
I seek, for my own use, to trace out here.
)


by Walt Whitman | |

For Him I Sing.

 FOR him I sing, 
(As some perennial tree, out of its roots, the present on the past:) 
With time and space I him dilate—and fuse the immortal laws, 
To make himself, by them, the law unto himself.


by Walt Whitman | |

To You.

 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?


by Walt Whitman | |

One’s-Self I Sing.

 ONE’S-SELF I sing—a simple, separate Person; 
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-masse.
Of Physiology from top to toe I sing; Not physiognomy alone, nor brain alone, is worthy for the muse—I say the Form complete is worthier far; The Female equally with the male I sing.
Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power, Cheerful—for freest action form’d, under the laws divine, The Modern Man I sing.


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.


by Walt Whitman | |

As I Ponder’d in Silence.

 1
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? 

2
Be it so, then I answer’d, 
I too, haughty Shade, also sing war—and a longer and greater one than
 any, 
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.


by Walt Whitman | |

Tears.

 TEARS! tears! tears! 
In the night, in solitude, tears; 
On the white shore dripping, dripping, suck’d in by the sand; 
Tears—not a star shining—all dark and desolate; 
Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head:
—O who is that ghost?—that form in the dark, with tears? 
What shapeless lump is that, bent, crouch’d there on the sand? 
Streaming tears—sobbing tears—throes, choked with wild cries; 
O storm, embodied, rising, careering, with swift steps along the beach; 
O wild and dismal night storm, with wind! O belching and desperate!
O shade, so sedate and decorous by day, with calm countenance and regulated pace; 
But away, at night, as you fly, none looking—O then the unloosen’d ocean, 
Of tears! tears! tears!


by Walt Whitman | |

Adieu to a Soldier.

 ADIEU, O soldier! 
You of the rude campaigning, (which we shared,) 
The rapid march, the life of the camp, 
The hot contention of opposing fronts—the long manoeuver, 
Red battles with their slaughter,—the stimulus—the strong, terrific game,
Spell of all brave and manly hearts—the trains of Time through you, and like of you,
 all
 fill’d, 
With war, and war’s expression.
Adieu, dear comrade! Your mission is fulfill’d—but I, more warlike, Myself, and this contentious soul of mine, Still on our own campaigning bound, Through untried roads, with ambushes, opponents lined, Through many a sharp defeat and many a crisis—often baffled, Here marching, ever marching on, a war fight out—aye here, To fiercer, weightier battles give expression.


by Walt Whitman | |

Thoughts.

 OF Public Opinion; 
Of a calm and cool fiat, sooner or later, (How impassive! How certain and final!) 
Of the President with pale face, asking secretly to himself, What will the people say
 at
 last? 
Of the frivolous Judge—Of the corrupt Congressman, Governor, Mayor—Of such as
 these,
 standing helpless and exposed; 
Of the mumbling and screaming priest—(soon, soon deserted;)
Of the lessening, year by year, of venerableness, and of the dicta of officers, statutes,
 pulpits, schools; 
Of the rising forever taller and stronger and broader, of the intuitions of men and women,
 and
 of self-esteem, and of personality; 
—Of the New World—Of the Democracies, resplendent, en-masse; 
Of the conformity of politics, armies, navies, to them and to me, 
Of the shining sun by them—Of the inherent light, greater than the rest,
Of the envelopment of all by them, and of the effusion of all from them.


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 the 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 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.


by Walt Whitman | |

In Midnight Sleep.

 1
IN midnight sleep, of many a face of anguish, 
Of the look at first of the mortally wounded—of that indescribable look; 
Of the dead on their backs, with arms extended wide, 
 I dream, I dream, I dream.
2 Of scenes of nature, fields and mountains; Of skies, so beauteous after a storm—and at night the moon so unearthly bright, Shining sweetly, shining down, where we dig the trenches and gather the heaps, I dream, I dream, I dream.
3 Long, long have they pass’d—faces and trenches and fields; Where through the carnage I moved with a callous composure—or away from the fallen, Onward I sped at the time—But now of their forms at night, I dream, I dream, I dream.


by Walt Whitman | |

A Noiseless Patient Spider.

 A NOISELESS, patient spider, 
I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated; 
Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding, 
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself; 
Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you, O my Soul, where you stand, Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,—seeking the spheres, to connect them; Till the bridge you will need, be form’d—till the ductile anchor hold; Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.


by Walt Whitman | |

When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer.

 WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer; 
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me; 
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them; 
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the
 lecture-room, 
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself, 
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, 
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.