Study Guide

Walt Whitman Quotes

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Bacchus-browed, bearded like a satyr, and rank.

Bronson Alcott's description of Walt Whitman

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 diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them, When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured withmuch 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.

Walt Whitman, "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer"

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 deckhandsinging 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, orat noon intermission or at sundown, The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or ofthe 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.

Walt Whitman, "I Hear America Singing"

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.

Walt Whitman, from "O Captain! My Captain!"

"You speak of Mr. Whitman -- I never read his book -- but was told that he was disgraceful."

Emily Dickinson in a letter to Thomas Wentworth Higginson

"[Whitman] told us that the physician also held that the unusual combination which existed in his case, of a rapidly moving brain in a slow-moving, rather lethargic body, was unfavorable. The discrepancy was unfortunate."

Ellen M. Calder, "Personal Recollections of Walt Whitman"

I too am but a trail of drift and debris, I too leave little wrecks upon you, you fish-shaped island.

Walt Whitman, "As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life"

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one place search another, I stop somewhere waiting for you.

Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"

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