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Leaves of Grass

One's-self I sing, a simple separate person…
Leaves of Grass self
The Female equally with the Male I sing.
Leaves of Grass sin
One's-self I sing, a simple separate person, Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse. …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.
Leaves of Grass power
I too haughty Shade also sing war, and a longer and greater one than any...
Leaves of Grass war
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, I too am come, chanting the chant of battles, I above all promote brave soldiers.
Leaves of Grass life
Then falter not O book, fulfil your destiny, You not a reminiscence of the land alone, You too as a lone bark cleaving the ether, purpos'd I know not whither, yet ever full of faith, Consort to every ship that sails, sail you! Bear forth to them folded my love, (dear mariners, for you I fold it here in every leaf;) Speed on my book! spread your white sails my little bark athwart the imperious waves, Chant on, sail on, bear o'er the boundless blue from me to every sea, This song for mariners and all their ships.
Leaves of Grass love
To thee old cause! Thou peerless, passionate, good cause, thou stern, remorseless, sweet idea, deathless throughout the ages, races, lands...
Leaves of Grass death
Chanter of Personality, outlining what is yet to be, I project the history of the future.
Leaves of Grass history
I met a seer, passing the hues and objects of the world, the fields of art and learning, pleasure, sense, to glean .
Leaves of Grass art
To thee old cause! Thou peerless, passionate, good cause, Thou stern, remorseless, sweet idea, Deathless throughout the ages, races, lands, After a strange sad war, great war for thee, (I think all war through time was really fought, and ever will be really fought, for thee,) These chants for thee, the eternal march of thee.
Leaves of Grass war
Put first before the rest as light for all and entrance-song of all, that of eidolons.
Leaves of Grass light
I met a seer, Passing the hues and objects of the world, The fields of art and learning, pleasure, sense, To glean . Put in thy chants said he, No more the puzzling hour nor day, nor segments, parts, put in,Put first before the rest as light for all and entrance-song of all, That of eidolons.
Leaves of Grass art
All space, all time, (The stars, the terrible perturbations of the suns, Swelling, collapsing, ending, serving their longer, shorter use,) Fill'd with eidolons only. The noiseless myriads, The infinite oceans where the rivers empty, The separate countless free identities, like eyesight, The true realities, eidolons.Not this the world, Nor these the universes, they the universes, Purport and end, ever the permanent life of life, Eidolons, eidolons.
Leaves of Grass life
Thy very songs not in thy songs, No special strains to sing, none for itself, But from the whole resulting, rising at last and floating, A round full-orb'd eidolon.
Leaves of Grass self
With time and space I him dilate and fuse the immortal laws, to make himself by them the law unto himself.
Leaves of Grass time
For him I sing, I raise the present on the past, (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.
Leaves of Grass time
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 clews and indirections I seek for my own use to trace out here.)
Leaves of Grass life
Beginning my studies the first step pleas'd me so much, The mere fact consciousness, these forms, the power of motion, The least insect or animal, the senses, eyesight, love, The first step I say awed me and pleas'd me so much, I have hardly gone and hardly wish'd to go any farther, But stop and loiter all the time to sing it in ecstatic songs.
Leaves of Grass love
How they are provided for upon the earth, (appearing at intervals,) How dear and dreadful they are to the earth...
Leaves of Grass art
How they are provided for upon the earth, (appearing at intervals,)How dear and dreadful they are to the earth, How they inure to themselves as much as to any — what a paradox appears their age, How people respond to them, yet know them not, How there is something relentless in their fate all times, How all times mischoose the objects of their adulation and reward, And how the same inexorable price must still be paid for the same great purchase.
Leaves of Grass war
Shut not your doors to me proud libraries, For that which was lacking on all your well-fill'd shelves, yet needed most, I bring, Forth from the war emerging, a book I have made, The words of my book nothing, the drift of it every thing, A book separate, not link'd with the rest nor felt by the intellect, But you ye untold latencies will thrill to every page.
Leaves of Grass war
I am a man who, sauntering along without fully stopping, turns a casual look upon you and then averts his face, leaving it to you to prove and define it, expecting the main things from you.
Leaves of Grass man
Poets to come! orators, singers, musicians to come! Not to-day is to justify me and answer what I am for, But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than before known, Arouse! for you must justify me. I myself but write one or two indicative words for the future, I but advance a moment only to wheel and hurry back in the darkness.I am a man who, sauntering along without fully stopping, turns a casual look upon you and then averts his face, Leaving it to you to prove and define it, Expecting the main things from you.
Leaves of Grass music
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?
Leaves of Grass desire
I will write the evangel-poem of comrades and of love. (6)
Leaves of Grass love
I say the whole earth and all the stars in the sky are for religion's sake. (7)
Leaves of Grass religion
None has begun to think how divine he himself is and how certain the future is. (7)
Leaves of Grass future
I say the real and permanent grandeur of these States must be their religion. (7)
Leaves of Grass religion
Nothing can happen more beautiful than death. (12)
Leaves of Grass death
Section numbers appear at the end of quotes from this composition
Leaves of Grass quotes
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self...
Leaves of Grass self
I celebrate myself, and sing 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. (1)
Leaves of Grass soul
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self. (2)
Leaves of Grass books
I and this mystery here we stand...
Leaves of Grass mystery
To elaborate is no avail, learn'd and unlearn'd feel that it is so. …I and this mystery here we stand. (3)
Leaves of Grass mystery
Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul. Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen, Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn. (3)
Leaves of Grass soul
Knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they discuss I am silent, and go bathe and admire myself.Welcome is every organ and attribute of me, and of any man hearty and clean, Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be less familiar than the rest. (3)
Leaves of Grass art
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it. Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders,I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait. (4)
Leaves of Grass war
A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands; How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he...
Leaves of Grass child
Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth, And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own, And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own, And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers, And that a kelson of the creation is love, And limitless are leaves stiff or drooping in the fields, And brown ants in the little wells beneath them, And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heap'd stones, elder, mullein and poke-weed. (5)
Leaves of Grass love
I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven...
Leaves of Grass hope
A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands; How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he. I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven. … And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves. … What do you think has become of the young and old men? And what do you think has become of the women and children? They are alive and well somewhere, The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, And ceas'd the moment life appear'd.All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier. (6)
Leaves of Grass life
Has any one supposed it lucky to be born? I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash'd babe, and am not contain'd between my hat and boots, And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one good, The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good. I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth,I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and fathomless as myself, (They do not know how immortal, but I know.) (7)
Leaves of Grass death
Do not call the tortoise unworthy because she is not something else.
Leaves of Grass
Do not call the tortoise unworthy because she is not something else. (13)
Leaves of Grass
What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me...
Leaves of Grass
The brood of the turkey-hen and she with her half-spread wings,I see in them and myself the same old law. The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections, They scorn the best I can do to relate them. (14)
Leaves of Grass art
What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me, Me going in for my chances, spending for vast returns, Adorning myself to bestow myself on the first that will take me, Not asking the sky to come down to my good will, Scattering it freely forever. (14)
Leaves of Grass self
These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me...
Leaves of Grass men
The city sleeps and the country sleeps, The living sleep for their time, the dead sleep for their time, The old husband sleeps by his wife and the young husband sleeps by his wife; And these tend inward to me, and I tend outward to them, And such as it is to be of these more or less I am, And of these one and all I weave the song of myself. (15)
Leaves of Grass war
Comrade of raftsmen and coalmen, comrade of all who shake hands and welcome to drink and meat, A learner with the simplest, a teacher of the thoughtfullest, A novice beginning yet experient of myriads of seasons,Of every hue and caste am I, of every rank and religion. (16)
Leaves of Grass religion
The moth and the fish-eggs are in their place, The bright suns I see and the dark suns I cannot see are in their place, The palpable is in its place and the impalpable is in its place. (16)
Leaves of Grass dark
This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is, This the common air that bathes the globe.
Leaves of Grass water
These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me, If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing, or next to nothing, If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing, If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is, This the common air that bathes the globe. (17)
Leaves of Grass men
With music strong I come, with my cornets and my drums, I play not marches for accepted victors only, I play marches for conquer'd and slain persons. … Vivas to those who have fail'd! And to those whose war-vessels sank in the sea! And to those themselves who sank in the sea! And to all generals that lost engagements, and all overcome heroes! And the numberless unknown heroes equal to the greatest heroes known! (18)
Leaves of Grass war
This is the meal equally set, this the meat for natural hunger, It is for the wicked just same as the righteous, I make appointments with all,I will not have a single person slighted or left away. (19)
Leaves of Grass men
Do you guess I have some intricate purpose? Well I have, for the Fourth-month showers have, and the mica on the side of a rock has...
Leaves of Grass purpose
Do you guess I have some intricate purpose? Well I have, for the Fourth-month showers have, and the mica on the side of a rock has. Do you take it I would astonish? Does the daylight astonish? does the early redstart twittering through the woods? Do I astonish more than they? This hour I tell things in confidence, I might not tell everybody, but I will tell you. (19)
Leaves of Grass art
All I mark as my own you shall offset it with your own, Else it were time lost listening to me.I do not snivel that snivel the world over, That months are vacuums and the ground but wallow and filth. Whimpering and truckling fold with powders for invalids, conformity goes to the fourth-remov'd, I wear my hat as I please indoors or out. (20)
Leaves of Grass time
In all people I see myself, none more and not one a barley-corn less, And the good or bad I say of myself I say of them. (20)
Leaves of Grass people
I know I am august, I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood, I see that the elementary laws never apologize...
Leaves of Grass men
To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow, All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means. (20)
Leaves of Grass writing
I know I am deathless, I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter's compass (20)
Leaves of Grass death
I know I am august, I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood, I see that the elementary laws never apologize, (I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by, after all.) (20)
Leaves of Grass men
I exist as I am, that is enough, If no other in the world be aware I sit content, And if each and all be aware I sit content.
Leaves of Grass war
I exist as I am, that is enough, If no other in the world be aware I sit content, And if each and all be aware I sit content. One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is myself, And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or ten million years, I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait. (20)
Leaves of Grass war
My foothold is tenon'd and mortis'd in granite, I laugh at what you call dissolution, And I know the amplitude of time. (20)
Leaves of Grass time
I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul, The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me, The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate into new tongue. (21)
Leaves of Grass pain
I am the poet of the woman the same as the man
Leaves of Grass man
I am the poet of the woman the same as the man, And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man, And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men. (21)
Leaves of Grass men
Have you outstript the rest? are you the President? It is a trifle, they will more than arrive there every one, and still pass on. (21)
Leaves of Grass you
My gait is no fault-finder's or rejecter's gait, I moisten the roots of all that has grown. (22)
Leaves of Grass
A word of the faith that never balks, Here or henceforward it is all the same to me, I accept Time absolutely...
Leaves of Grass faith
Did you guess the celestial laws are yet to be work'd over and rectified? (22)
Leaves of Grass work
What behaved well in the past or behaves well to-day is not such wonder, The wonder is always and always how there can be a mean man or an infidel. (22)
Leaves of Grass past
A word of the faith that never balks, Here or henceforward it is all the same to me, I accept Time absolutely. It alone is without flaw, it alone rounds and completes all, That mystic baffling wonder alone completes all. (23)
Leaves of Grass faith
Whoever degrades another degrades me, And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.
Leaves of Grass hate
Gentlemen, to you the first honors always! Your facts are useful, and yet they are not my dwelling, I but enter by them to an area of my dwelling. (23)
Leaves of Grass men
Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son, Turbulent, fleshy, sensual, eating, drinking and breeding, No sentimentalist, no stander above men and women or apart from them, No more modest than immodest. Unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!Whoever degrades another degrades me, And whatever is done or said returns at last to me. (24)
Leaves of Grass women
Through me many long dumb voices, Voices of the interminable generations of prisoners and slaves, Voices of the diseas'd and despairing and of thieves and dwarfs, Voices of cycles of preparation and accretion, And of the threads that connect the stars, and of wombs and of the father-stuff, And of the rights of them the others are down upon, Of the deform'd, trivial, flat, foolish, despised, Fog in the air, beetles rolling balls of dung.Through me forbidden voices, Voices of sexes and lusts, voices veil'd and I remove the veil, Voices indecent by me clarified and transfigur'd. (24)
Leaves of Grass war
I believe in the flesh and the appetites,Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle. Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch'd from, The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer,This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds. (24)
Leaves of Grass art
A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.
Leaves of Grass books
I dote on myself, there is that lot of me and all so luscious, Each moment and whatever happens thrills me with joy, I cannot tell how my ankles bend, nor whence the cause of my faintest wish, Nor the cause of the friendship I emit, nor the cause of the friendship I take again. (24)
Leaves of Grass friendship
A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. (24)
Leaves of Grass books
Dazzling and tremendous how quick the sun-rise would kill me, If I could not now and always send sun-rise out of me. (25)
Leaves of Grass men
My voice goes after what my eyes cannot reach, With the twirl of my tongue I encompass worlds and volumes of worlds. (25)
Leaves of Grass world
My final merit I refuse you, I refuse putting from me what I really am, Encompass worlds, but never try to encompass me...
Leaves of Grass world
Speech is the twin of my vision, it is unequal to measure itself, It provokes me forever, it says sarcastically,Walt you contain enough, why don't you let it out then? (25)
Leaves of Grass self
My final merit I refuse you, I refuse putting from me what I really am, Encompass worlds, but never try to encompass me, I crowd your sleekest and best by simply looking toward you. Writing and talk do not prove me, I carry the plenum of proof and every thing else in my face, With the hush of my lips I wholly confound the skeptic. (25)
Leaves of Grass war
Now I will do nothing but listen, To accrue what I hear into this song, to let sounds contribute toward it. (26)
Leaves of Grass war
Mine is no callous shell, I have instant conductors all over me whether I pass or stop, They seize every object and lead it harmlessly through me. I merely stir, press, feel with my fingers, and am happy, To touch my person to some one else's is about as much as I can stand. (27)
Leaves of Grass happy
Is this then a touch? quivering me to a new identity, Flames and ether making a rush for my veins (28)
Leaves of Grass identity
All truths wait in all things, They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it...
Leaves of Grass truth
All truths wait in all things, They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it, They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon, The insignificant is as big to me as any, (What is less or more than a touch?) (30)
Leaves of Grass truth
Logic and sermons never convince, The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul. (Only what proves itself to every man and woman is so, Only what nobody denies is so.) A minute and a drop of me settle my brain, I believe the soggy clods shall become lovers and lamps, And a compend of compends is the meat of a man or woman, And a summit and flower there is the feeling they have for each other, And they are to branch boundlessly out of that lesson until it becomes omnific, And until one and all shall delight us, and we them. (30)
Leaves of Grass love
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars...
Leaves of Grass work
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars, And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren, And the tree-toad is a chef-d'oeuvre for the highest, And the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heaven, And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery, And the cow crunching with depress'd head surpasses any statue, And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels. (31)
Leaves of Grass sex
... And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels.
Leaves of Grass sex
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd, I stand and look at them long and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth. So they show their relations to me and I accept them, They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their possession. (32)
Leaves of Grass art
I but use you a minute, then I resign you, stallion, Why do I need your paces when I myself out-gallop them?
Leaves of Grass self

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