Love, that is the pulse of all, the sustenance and the pang […] No other theme but love—knitting, enclosing, all-diffusing love. — Walt Whitman, from “The Mystic Trumpeter”, Leaves of Grass (Simon Schuster, August 1st 2006) Originally published July 4th 1855.
This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best,Night, sleep, death and the stars. — Walt Whitman, “A Clear Midnight,” Leaves of Grass. Originally published: July 4, 1855.
What is it, then, between us?What is the count of the scores or hundreds of years between us? Whatever it is, it avails not—distance avails not, and place avails not. — Walt Whitman, from “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” Leaves of Grass, Originally published: July 4, 1855.
O soul, thou pleasest me—I thee;Sailing these seas, or on the hills, or waking in the night,Thoughts, silent thoughts, of Time, and Space, and Death, like waters flowing,Bear me, indeed, as through the regions infinite,Whose air I breathe, whose ripples hear—lave me all over;Bathe me, O God, in thee—mounting to thee,I and my soul to… Continue reading Walt Whitman
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. — Walt Whitman, from Section 21 of “Song of Myself,” Leaves of… Continue reading Walt Whitman
… re-examine all you have been told […] dismiss whatever insults your own soul… ― Walt Whitman, from the preface of Leaves of Grass. Originally published: July 4, 1855.
Press close, bare-bosomed Night!Press close, magnetic, nourishing Night!Night of south winds! Night of the large, few stars!Still, nodding Night! Mad, naked, Summer Night! ― Walt Whitman, from “Song of Myself,” Leaves of Grass. Originally published: July 4, 1855.
How sweet the silent backward tracings! — Walt Whitman, from “Memories,” First Annex: Sands at Seventy, Leaves of Grass: The Deathbed Edition (BOMC, 1992)
You lingering sparse leaves of me on winter-nearing boughs, And I some well-shorn tree of field or orchard-row; You tokens diminute and lorn—(not now the flush of May, or July clover-bloom—no grain of August now;) You pallid banner-staves—you pennants valueless—you overstay’d of time, Yet my soul-dearest leaves confirming all the rest, The faithfulest—hardiest—last.… Continue reading Walt Whitman
PASSING stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you, You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream,) I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you, All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste,… Continue reading Walt Whitman