Walt Whitman Quotes – Inspiration for Life and Literature

If there’s one thing Walt Whitman was known for, it was his poetry. His words were filled with passion and intensity, and he was always able to capture the essence of life in his verses. Walt Whitman quotes are just as powerful, and they still resonate with people today.

walt whitman quotes

Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819, in West Hills, New York, to parents with strong religious convictions. Whitman grew up to become a printer, journalist, and eventually, one of America’s most renowned and captivating poets. Whitman’s poetry celebrates the human experience and the natural world, and his work has been celebrated for its poetic innovation and its profound spiritual and political insights.

In 1855, Whitman self-published the first edition of Leaves of Grass, a collection of poems that would come to be recognized as one of the most important poetic works in American history. The poems in Leaves of Grass celebrate life and nature, and they are written in a style that is both lyrical and accessible. Whitman’s poetry is highly personal, and he often writes about the experience of being an American man.

Whitman’s poetry is often considered to be controversial, and it was met with mixed reactions when it was first published. Some people praised Whitman for his unique and innovative style, while others criticized him for his frank depictions of sex and violence. However, over time, Whitman’s poetry has come to be recognized as a masterpiece of American literature. He is now considered to be one of the most important and influential American poets of all time.

Here are some of my favorite Walt Whitman quotes to get you inspired.

45 Walt Whitman Quotes

walt whitman quotes about life
  1. “Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.”

2. “I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake.”

3. “I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best. ”

4. “The words of my book are nothing, the drift of it everything.”

5. “Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.”

6. “What doesn’t kill you leaves scars, ruins your lungs, dries out all your tears, leaves you lying awake at 4 in the morning wishing you weren’t alive.”

7. “Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”

8. “Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”

9. “Some people are so much sunshine to the square inch.”

10. “Simplicity is the glory of expression.”

Famous Walt Whitman Quotes

walt whitman quotes about nature

11. “Resist much, obey little.”

12. “I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.”

13. “I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.”

14. “Do anything, but let it produce joy.”

15. “Be curious, not judgmental.”

16. “You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life”

17. “Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”

18. “Pointing to another world will never stop vice among us; shedding light over this world can alone help us.”

19. “Only themselves understand themselves and the like of themselves,

20. As souls only understand souls.”

Walt Whitman Quotes About Life

21. “Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.”

22. “And I will show that nothing can happen more beautiful than death.”

23. “I have learned that to be with those I like is enough”

24. “In the confusion we stay with each other, happy to be together, speaking without uttering a single word.”

25. “Why should I be afraid to trust myself to you? I am not afraid, I have been well brought forward by you…”

26. “Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever afterward resumes its liberty.”

27. “I refuse putting from me the best that I am.”

28. “Peace is always beautiful.”

29. “What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the words I have read in my life.”

30. “Whoever is not in his coffin and the dark grave, let him know he has enough.”

Thought-Provoking Walt Whitman Quotes About Life

31. “A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibility of their own souls.”

31. “I cannot be awake, for nothing looks to me as it did before, or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.”

32. “I am for those who believe in loose delights, I share the midnight orgies of young men, I dance with the dancers and drink with the drinkers. ”

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

34. “Freedom: to walk free and own no superior”

35. “Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.”

36. “To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.”

37. “The sum of all known value and respect, I add up in you, whoever you are.”

38. “If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred.”

39. “The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”

40. “Touch me, touch the palm of your hand to my body as I pass, Be not afraid of my body.”

41. “And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral drest in his shroud.”

42. “I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell”

43. “The poet judges not as a judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing.”

43. “Sure as Life holds all parts together, Death holds all parts together.”

44. “Logic and sermons never convince, The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.”

45.  “To the real artist in humanity, what are called bad manners are often the most picturesque and significant of all. ”

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