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Walt Whitman Poems

A collection of select Walt Whitman famous poems that were written by Walt Whitman or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Whitman, Walt
 AMERICA always! 
Always our own feuillage! 
Always Florida’s green peninsula! Always the priceless delta of Louisiana! Always the
 cotton-fields of Alabama and Texas! 
Always California’s golden hills and hollows—and the silver mountains of New
 Mexico!
 Always soft-breath’d Cuba! 
Always the vast slope drain’d by the Southern Sea—inseparable with the slopes
 drain’d
 by the Eastern and Western Seas;
The area the...Read More



by Whitman, Walt
 1
AS I sat alone, by blue Ontario’s shore, 
As I mused of these mighty days, and of peace return’d, and the dead that return no
 more, 
A Phantom, gigantic, superb, with stern visage, accosted me; 
Chant me the poem, it said, that comes from the soul of America—chant me
 the
 carol of victory; 
And strike up the marches of...Read More

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

by Whitman, Walt
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...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 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
 deeds
 done; 
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt,
 desperate; 
I see the wife misused by her husband—I see the...Read More



by Whitman, Walt
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...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 1
SINGING my days, 
Singing the great achievements of the present, 
Singing the strong, light works of engineers, 
Our modern wonders, (the antique ponderous Seven outvied,) 
In the Old World, the east, the Suez canal,
The New by its mighty railroad spann’d, 
The seas inlaid with eloquent, gentle wires, 
I sound, to commence, the cry, with thee, O soul, 
The Past!...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 1
O TO make the most jubilant poem! 
Even to set off these, and merge with these, the carols of Death. 
O full of music! full of manhood, womanhood, infancy! 
Full of common employments! full of grain and trees. 

O for the voices of animals! O for the swiftness and balance of fishes!
O for the dropping of rain-drops in a...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 RESPONDEZ! Respondez! 
(The war is completed—the price is paid—the title is settled beyond recall;) 
Let every one answer! let those who sleep be waked! let none evade! 
Must we still go on with our affectations and sneaking? 
Let me bring this to a close—I pronounce openly for a new distribution of roles;
Let that which stood in front go behind!...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 1
O TAKE my hand, Walt Whitman! 
Such gliding wonders! such sights and sounds! 
Such join’d unended links, each hook’d to the next! 
Each answering all—each sharing the earth with all. 

What widens within you, Walt Whitman?
What waves and soils exuding? 
What climes? what persons and lands are here? 
Who are the infants? some playing, some slumbering? 
Who are the...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 1
I WANDER all night in my vision, 
Stepping with light feet, swiftly and noiselessly stepping and stopping, 
Bending with open eyes over the shut eyes of sleepers, 
Wandering and confused, lost to myself, ill-assorted, contradictory, 
Pausing, gazing, bending, and stopping.

How solemn they look there, stretch’d and still! 
How quiet they breathe, the little children in their cradles! 

The wretched...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 1
TO conclude—I announce what comes after me; 
I announce mightier offspring, orators, days, and then, for the present, depart. 

I remember I said, before my leaves sprang at all, 
I would raise my voice jocund and strong, with reference to consummations. 

When America does what was promis’d,
When there are plentiful athletic bards, inland and seaboard, 
When through These States...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 SPLENDOR of ended day, floating and filling me! 
Hour prophetic—hour resuming the past! 
Inflating my throat—you, divine average! 
You, Earth and Life, till the last ray gleams, I sing. 

Open mouth of my Soul, uttering gladness,
Eyes of my Soul, seeing perfection, 
Natural life of me, faithfully praising things; 
Corroborating forever the triumph of things. 

Illustrious every one! 
Illustrious what...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 1
I CELEBRATE myself; 
And what I assume you shall assume; 
For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you. 

I loafe and invite my Soul; 
I lean and loafe at my ease, observing a spear of summer grass.

Houses and rooms are full of perfumes—the shelves are crowded with
 perfumes; 
I breathe the fragrance myself, and know it...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 1
WEAPON, shapely, naked, wan! 
Head from the mother’s bowels drawn! 
Wooded flesh and metal bone! limb only one, and lip only one! 
Gray-blue leaf by red-heat grown! helve produced from a little seed sown! 
Resting the grass amid and upon,
To be lean’d, and to lean on. 

Strong shapes, and attributes of strong shapes—masculine trades, sights and sounds; 
Long varied...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 1
AFTER all, not to create only, or found only, 
But to bring, perhaps from afar, what is already founded, 
To give it our own identity, average, limitless, free; 
To fill the gross, the torpid bulk with vital religious fire; 
Not to repel or destroy, so much as accept, fuse, rehabilitate;
To obey, as well as command—to follow, more than to...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 1
AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road, 
Healthy, free, the world before me, 
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose. 

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune; 
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road. 

The earth—that is sufficient; 
I do not want...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 1
OF these years I sing, 
How they pass and have pass’d, through convuls’d pains as through parturitions; 
How America illustrates birth, muscular youth, the promise, the sure fulfillment, the
 Absolute
 Success, despite of people—Illustrates evil as well as good; 
How many hold despairingly yet to the models departed, caste, myths, obedience,
 compulsion, and
 to infidelity; 
How few see the...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 1
TO think of time—of all that retrospection! 
To think of to-day, and the ages continued henceforward! 

Have you guess’d you yourself would not continue? 
Have you dreaded these earth-beetles? 
Have you fear’d the future would be nothing to you?

Is to-day nothing? Is the beginningless past nothing? 
If the future is nothing, they are just as surely nothing. 

To think...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
 WHOEVER you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, 
I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands; 
Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume,
 crimes, dissipate away from you, 
Your true Soul and Body appear before me, 
They stand forth out of affairs—out of commerce,...Read More