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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 G K Chesterton | |

Variations of an Air

 Old King Cole
Was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he
He called for his pipe 
and he called for his bowl 
and he called for his fiddlers three


after Lord Tennyson


Cole, that unwearied prince of Colchester, 
Growing more gay with age and with long days 
Deeper in laughter and desire of life 
As that Virginian climber on our walls 
Flames scarlet with the fading of the year; 
Called for his wassail and that other weed 
Virginian also, from the western woods 
Where English Raleigh checked the boast of Spain, 
And lighting joy with joy, and piling up 
Pleasure as crown for pleasure, bade me bring 
Those three, the minstrels whose emblazoned coats 
Shone with the oyster-shells of Colchester; 
And these three played, and playing grew more fain 
Of mirth and music; till the heathen came 
And the King slept beside the northern sea.
after W.
B.
Yeats Of an old King in a story From the grey sea-folk I have heard Whose heart was no more broken Than the wings of a bird.
As soon as the moon was silver And the thin stars began, He took his pipe and his tankard, Like an old peasant man.
And three tall shadows were with him And came at his command; And played before him for ever The fiddles of fairyland.
And he died in the young summer Of the world's desire; Before our hearts were broken Like sticks in a fire.
after Walt Whitman Me clairvoyant, Me conscious of you, old camarado, Needing no telescope, lorgnette, field-glass, opera-glass, myopic pince-nez, Me piercing two thousand years with eye naked and not ashamed; The crown cannot hide you from me, Musty old feudal-heraldic trappings cannot hide you from me, I perceive that you drink.
(I am drinking with you.
I am as drunk as you are.
) I see you are inhaling tobacco, puffing, smoking, spitting (I do not object to your spitting), You prophetic of American largeness, You anticipating the broad masculine manners of these States; I see in you also there are movements, tremors, tears, desire for the melodious, I salute your three violinists, endlessly making vibrations, Rigid, relentless, capable of going on for ever; They play my accompaniment; but I shall take no notice of any accompaniment; I myself am a complete orchestra.
So long.


Written by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

Walt Whitman

 The master-songs are ended, and the man
That sang them is a name.
And so is God A name; and so is love, and life, and death, And everything.
But we, who are too blind To read what we have written, or what faith Has written for us, do not understand: We only blink, and wonder.
Last night it was the song that was the man, But now it is the man that is the song.
We do not hear him very much to-day: His piercing and eternal cadence rings Too pure for us --- too powerfully pure, Too lovingly triumphant, and too large; But there are some that hear him, and they know That he shall sing to-morrow for all men, And that all time shall listen.
The master-songs are ended? Rather say No songs are ended that are ever sung, And that no names are dead names.
When we write Men's letters on proud marble or on sand, We write them there forever.


Written by Barry Tebb | |

LETTER TO MICHAEL HOROVITZ

 It is time after thirty years

We had our Poetry Renaissance

Rise, Children of Albion, rise!

It is time after nightmares of sleep

When we walked the streets of inner cities

Our poems among the burnt-out houses

And cars, whispering compassion

To the addicts shaking and the homeless

Waking and those who have come apart

In the nowhere of today

Begging in stations

Sleeping in boxes.
It is time to find Our lost, those children I taught three decades ago To paint on ceilings With sticks of incense Rainbows of silence For John Cage To write on walls In luminous paint Pink haiku For Allen Ginsberg.
It is time to awaken and emblazon the sky With symphonies of sorrow, To draft the articles of war.
Poets of the Underground The doors have opened The ghost of Walt Whitman Grey-bearded, in lonely anguish Walks with us.


Written by Ezra Pound | |

A Pact

 I make a pact with you, Walt Whitman-- 
I have detested you long enough.
I come to you as a grown child Who has had a pig-headed father; I am old enough now to make friends.
It was you that broke the new wood, Now is a time for carving.
We have one sap and one root-- Let there be commerce between us.


Written by David Lehman | |

Sestina

 for Jim Cummins 

In Iowa, Jim dreamed that Della Street was Anne Sexton's
twin.
Dave drew a comic strip called the "Adventures of Whitman," about a bearded beer-guzzler in Superman uniform.
Donna dressed like Wallace Stevens in a seersucker summer suit.
To town came Ted Berrigan, saying, "My idea of a bad poet is Marvin Bell.
" But no one has won as many prizes as Philip Levine.
At the restaurant, people were talking about Philip Levine's latest: the Pulitzer.
A toast was proposed by Anne Sexton.
No one saw the stranger, who said his name was Marvin Bell, pour something into Donna's drink.
"In the Walt Whitman Shopping Center, there you feel free," said Ted Berrigan, pulling on a Chesterfield.
Everyone laughed, except T.
S.
Eliot.
I asked for directions.
"You turn right on Gertrude Stein, then bear left.
Three streetlights down you hang a Phil Levine and you're there," Jim said.
When I arrived I saw Ted Berrigan with cigarette ash in his beard.
Graffiti about Anne Sexton decorated the men's room walls.
Beth had bought a quart of Walt Whitman.
Donna looked blank.
"Walt who?" The name didn't ring a Marvin Bell.
You laugh, yet there is nothing inherently funny about Marvin Bell.
You cry, yet there is nothing inherently scary about Robert Lowell.
You drink a bottle of Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, as thirsty as Walt Whitman.
You bring in your car for an oil change, thinking, this place has the aura of Philip Levine.
Then you go home and write: "He kissed her Anne Sexton, and she returned the favor, caressing his Ted Berrigan.
" Donna was candid.
"When the spirit of Ted Berrigan comes over me, I can't resist," she told Marvin Bell, while he stood dejected at the xerox machine.
Anne Sexton came by to circulate the rumor that Robert Duncan had flung his drink on a student who had called him Philip Levine.
The cop read him the riot act.
"I don't care," he said, "if you're Walt Whitman.
" Donna told Beth about her affair with Walt Whitman.
"He was indefatigable, but he wasn't Ted Berrigan.
" The Dow Jones industrials finished higher, led by Philip Levine, up a point and a half on strong earnings.
Marvin Bell ended the day unchanged.
Analyst Richard Howard recommended buying May Swenson and selling Anne Sexton.
In the old days, you liked either Walt Whitman or Anne Sexton, not both.
Ted Berrigan changed that just by going to a ballgame with Marianne Moore.
And one day Philip Levine looked in the mirror and saw Marvin Bell.


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 | |

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.


Written 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


Written 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.


Written 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.


Written 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.