Study Guide

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Section 20

By Walt Whitman

Section 20

Lines 95-97

It is not you alone, nor I alone,
Not a few races, nor a few generations, nor a few centuries,
It is that each came, or comes, or shall come, from its due emission, without fail, either now, or then, or henceforth.

  • Whitman is often thought of as an all-inclusive or "democratic" poet, and these lines are a perfect example. He doesn't divide people in individuals, races, or even generations. As far as he's concerned, all people are part of the same chain or pattern and have equal dignity.
  • As context, we should mention that Whitman strongly believed in the abolition of slavery and equal rights for all people.

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