Monthly Archives: April 2015

Daily Whitman


Unfolded out of the Folds

  Unfolded out of the folds of the woman man comes unfolded, and is
      always to come unfolded,
  Unfolded only out of the superbest woman of the earth is to come the
      superbest man of the earth,
  Unfolded out of the friendliest woman is to come the friendliest man,
  Unfolded only out of the perfect body of a woman can a man be
      form'd of perfect body,
  Unfolded only out of the inimitable poems of woman can come the
      poems of man, (only thence have my poems come;)
  Unfolded out of the strong and arrogant woman I love, only thence
      can appear the strong and arrogant man I love,
  Unfolded by brawny embraces from the well-muscled woman
      love, only thence come the brawny embraces of the man,
  Unfolded out of the folds of the woman's brain come all the folds
      of the man's brain, duly obedient,
  Unfolded out of the justice of the woman all justice is unfolded,
  Unfolded out of the sympathy of the woman is all sympathy;
  A man is a great thing upon the earth and through eternity, but
      every of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman;
  First the man is shaped in the woman, he can then be shaped in himself.


Daily Whitman

To a Pupil

  Is reform needed? is it through you?
  The greater the reform needed, the greater the Personality you need
      to accomplish it.

  You! do you not see how it would serve to have eyes, blood,
      complexion, clean and sweet?
  Do you not see how it would serve to have such a body and soul that
      when you enter the crowd an atmosphere of desire and command
      enters with you, and every one is impress'd with your Personality?

  O the magnet! the flesh over and over!
  Go, dear friend, if need be give up all else, and commence to-day to
      inure yourself to pluck, reality, self-esteem, definiteness,
  Rest not till you rivet and publish yourself of your own Personality.


Daily Whitman

Grinding Wheel(1)

Sparkles from the Wheel

  Where the city's ceaseless crowd moves on the livelong day,
  Withdrawn I join a group of children watching, I pause aside with them.

  By the curb toward the edge of the flagging,
  A knife-grinder works at his wheel sharpening a great knife,
  Bending over he carefully holds it to the stone, by foot and knee,
  With measur'd tread he turns rapidly, as he presses with light but
      firm hand,
  Forth issue then in copious golden jets,
  Sparkles from the wheel.

  The scene and all its belongings, how they seize and affect me,
  The sad sharp-chinn'd old man with worn clothes and broad
      shoulder-band of leather,
  Myself effusing and fluid, a phantom curiously floating, now here
      absorb'd and arrested,
  The group, (an unminded point set in a vast surrounding,)
  The attentive, quiet children, the loud, proud, restive base of the streets,
  The low hoarse purr of the whirling stone, the light-press'd blade,
  Diffusing, dropping, sideways-darting, in tiny showers of gold,
  Sparkles from the wheel.


Daily Whitman



  Why, who makes much of a miracle?
  As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
  Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
  Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
  Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
  Or stand under trees in the woods,
  Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night
      with any one I love,
  Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
  Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
  Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,
  Or animals feeding in the fields,
  Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
  Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet
      and bright,
  Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
  These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
  The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

  To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
  Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
  Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
  Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
  To me the sea is a continual miracle,
  The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the
      ships with men in them,
  What stranger miracles are there?



Daily Whitman



  Of persons arrived at high positions, ceremonies, wealth,
      scholarships, and the like;
  (To me all that those persons have arrived at sinks away from them,
      except as it results to their bodies and souls,
  So that often to me they appear gaunt and naked,
  And often to me each one mocks the others, and mocks himself or herself,
  And of each one the core of life, namely happiness, is full of the
      rotten excrement of maggots,
  And often to me those men and women pass unwittingly the true
      realities of life, and go toward false realities,
  And often to me they are alive after what custom has served them,
      but nothing more,
  And often to me they are sad, hasty, unwaked sonnambules walking the dusk.)



Daily Whitman


I Was Looking a Long While

  I was looking a long while for Intentions,
  For a clew to the history of the past for myself, and for these
      chants—and now I have found it,
  It is not in those paged fables in the libraries, (them I neither
      accept nor reject,)
  It is no more in the legends than in all else,
  It is in the present—it is this earth to-day,
  It is in Democracy—(the purport and aim of all the past,)
  It is the life of one man or one woman to-day—the average man of to-day,
  It is in languages, social customs, literatures, arts,
  It is in the broad show of artificial things, ships, machinery,
      politics, creeds, modern improvements, and the interchange of nations,
  All for the modern—all for the average man of to-day.



Daily Whitman


To a Common Prostitute

  Be composed—be at ease with me—I am Walt Whitman, liberal and
      lusty as Nature,
  Not till the sun excludes you do I exclude you,
  Not till the waters refuse to glisten for you and the leaves to
      rustle for you, do my words refuse to glisten and rustle for you.

  My girl I appoint with you an appointment, and I charge you that you
      make preparation to be worthy to meet me,
  And I charge you that you be patient and perfect till I come.

  Till then I salute you with a significant look that you do not forget me.


Daily Whitman


Laws for Creations

  Laws for creations,
  For strong artists and leaders, for fresh broods of teachers and
      perfect literats for America,
  For noble savans and coming musicians.
  All must have reference to the ensemble of the world, and the
      compact truth of the world,
  There shall be no subject too pronounced—all works shall illustrate
      the divine law of indirections.

  What do you suppose creation is?
  What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to walk free and
      own no superior?
  What do you suppose I would intimate to you in a hundred ways, but
      that man or woman is as good as God?
  And that there is no God any more divine than Yourself?
  And that that is what the oldest and newest myths finally mean?
  And that you or any one must approach creations through such laws?


Daily Whitman


You Felons on Trial in Courts

  You felons on trial in courts,
  You convicts in prison-cells, you sentenced assassins chain'd and
      handcuff'd with iron,
  Who am I too that I am not on trial or in prison?
  Me ruthless and devilish as any, that my wrists are not chain'd with
      iron, or my ankles with iron?

  You prostitutes flaunting over the trottoirs or obscene in your rooms,
  Who am I that I should call you more obscene than myself?

  O culpable! I acknowledge—I expose!
  (O admirers, praise not me—compliment not me—you make me wince,
  I see what you do not—I know what you do not.)

  Inside these breast-bones I lie smutch'd and choked,
  Beneath this face that appears so impassive hell's tides continually run,
  Lusts and wickedness are acceptable to me,
  I walk with delinquents with passionate love,
  I feel I am of them—I belong to those convicts and prostitutes myself,
  And henceforth I will not deny them—for how can I deny myself?

Daily Whitman

Jesus Christ Crucifixion on Good Friday Silhouette

To Him That Was Crucified

  My spirit to yours dear brother,
  Do not mind because many sounding your name do not understand you,
  I do not sound your name, but I understand you,
  I specify you with joy O my comrade to salute you, and to salute
      those who are with you, before and since, and those to come also,
  That we all labor together transmitting the same charge and succession,
  We few equals indifferent of lands, indifferent of times,
  We, enclosers of all continents, all castes, allowers of all theologies,
  Compassionaters, perceivers, rapport of men,
  We walk silent among disputes and assertions, but reject not the
      disputers nor any thing that is asserted,
  We hear the bawling and din, we are reach'd at by divisions,
      jealousies, recriminations on every side,
  They close peremptorily upon us to surround us, my comrade,
  Yet we walk unheld, free, the whole earth over, journeying up and
      down till we make our ineffaceable mark upon time and the diverse eras,
  Till we saturate time and eras, that the men and women of races,
      ages to come, may prove brethren and lovers as we are.