Walt Whitman quotes

Walt Whitman photo
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Walt Whitman

Birthdate: 31. May 1819
Date of death: 26. March 1892

Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality.

Born in Huntington on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and—in addition to publishing his poetry—was a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans . Whitman's major work, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death in 1892. After a stroke towards the end of his life, he moved to Camden, New Jersey, where his health further declined. When he died at age 72, his funeral became a public spectacle.

Works

Fulles d'herba
Walt Whitman
Song of Myself
Walt Whitman
Drum-Taps
Drum-Taps
Walt Whitman

Quotes Walt Whitman

„Be curious, not judgmental.“

—  Walt Whitman

While consistently attributed to Whitman, this popular motivational quote has no source. It is occasionally listed as occurring in Leaves of Grass, but the closest phrase found in that collection is "Be not curious about God."
Disputed
Variant: Be curious, not judgmental.

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

—  Walt Whitman

This has become attributed to both Walt Whitman and Helen Keller, but has not been found in either of their published works, and variations of the quote are listed as a proverb commonly used in both the US and Canada in A Dictionary of American Proverbs (1992), edited by Wolfgang Mieder, Kelsie B. Harder and Stewart A. Kingsbury.
Misattributed

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

—  Walt Whitman

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

„I am large, I contain multitudes.“

—  Walt Whitman, book Fulles d'herba

Leaves of Grass
Variant: I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.

„I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.“

—  Walt Whitman

Song of Myself, 52
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)

„Peace is always beautiful.“

—  Walt Whitman, book Fulles d'herba

The Sleepers, 7
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
Source: Leaves of Grass

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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