Top Whitman Quotes

Browse top 48 famous quotes and sayings about Whitman by most favorite authors.

Favorite Whitman Quotes

1. "I get the urge to feel it, too, so when she takes her hand away, I turn her toward me and I feel the edges of New Jersey. I kiss Hoboken and Atlantic City. I kiss Newark and Trenton. I kiss Camden, and then I follow the road west, over the Walt Whitman Bridge into Pennsylvania. And I kiss home."
Author: A.S. King
2. ". . . never seen him inspired by any more dangerous stimulant than strong coffee, of which he was very fond & of which [he] drank freely. MacIntosh says that the measure of a man's brain is the amount of coffee he can drink with impunity.SARAH HELEN WHITMAN (POE'S FIANCÉE) TO JOHN INGRAMDECEMBER 13, 1874"
Author: Andrew Barger
3. "Of course one's sense of identification with the nation is inflected by all kinds of particulars, including one's class, race, gender, and sexual identification. … But [regarding] national character …, aside from references to a national aesthetic — literary, musical, and choreographic, there are two poles I reference: minimalist and maximalist. I love them both — the cryptic poems of Emily Dickinson folded up in tiny packets and hidden away in a box, the sparse, understated choreographies of Merce; but also the "trashy, profane and obscene" poems of Whitman and Ginsberg, [and] Martha Graham's expressionism. I am, myself, a minimalist. But I love distortion guitar and the wild exhibitionism of so many American artists. Also, these divisions are false. Emily Dickinson, in fact, can be as trashy and obscene as the best of them! Anyway, Dickinson and Whitman are at the heart of this narrative. They are the Dancing Queen and the Guitar Hero."
Author: Barbara Browning
4. "The time of minor poets is coming. Good-by Whitman, Dickinson, Frost. Welcome you whose fame will never reach beyond your closest family, and perhaps one or two good friends gathered after dinner over a jug of fierce red wine… While the children are falling asleep and complaining about the noise you're making as you rummage through the closets for your old poems, afraid your wife might've thrown them out with last spring's cleaning. It's snowing, says someone who has peeked into the dark night, and then he, too, turns toward you as you prepare yourself to read, in a manner somewhat theatrical and with a face turning red, the long rambling love poem whose final stanza (unknown to you) is hopelessly missing."
Author: Charles Simic
5. "Walter rolled his eyes. "Sack up, kid." "Amen, Whitman," Nixon agreed."
Author: David Edison
6. "We wish we could have been there for you. We didn't have many role models of our own--we latched on to the foolish love of Oscar Wilde and the well-versed longing of Walt Whitman because nobody else was there to show us an untortured path. We were going to be your role models. We were going to give you art and music and confidence and shelter and a much better world. Those who survived lived to do this. But we haven't been there for you. We've been here. Watching as you become the role models."
Author: David Levithan
7. "Walt Whitman, he who laid end to end words never seen in each other's company before outside of a dictionary."
Author: David Lodge
8. "American poets celebrate their bodies, very specifically, as Whitman did."
Author: Diane Wakoski
9. "Since we had always sky about,when we had eagles they flew outleaving no shadow bigger then wrens'to trouble our most aeromantic hens.Too busy bridging loneliness to be alonewe hacked in ties what Emily etched in bone.We French, we English, never lost our civil war,Endure it still, a bloodless civil bore;No wounded lying about, no Whitman wanted.It's only by our lack of ghosts we're haunted."
Author: Earle Birney
10. "Seeds in a dry pod, tick, tick, tick, Tick, tick, tick, what little iambics, While Homer and Whitman roared in the pines."
Author: Edgar Lee Masters
11. "Carpe DiemBy Edna StewartShakespeare, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman did it, why can't I?The words of Horace, his laconic phrase. Does it amuse me or frighten me?Does it rub salt in an old wound? Horace, Shakespeare, Robert Frost and Walt Whitman my loves,we've all had a taste of the devils carpe of forbidden food. My belly is full of mourning over life mishaps of should have's, missed pleasure, and why was I ever born?The leaf falls from the trees from which it was born in and cascade down like a feather that tumbles and toil in the wind.One gush! It blows away. It's trampled, raked, burned and finally turns to ashes which fades away like the leaves of grass.Did Horace get it right? Trust in nothing?The shortness of Life is seventy years, Robert Frost and Whitman bared more, but Shakespeare did not.Butterflies of Curiosities allures me more.Man is mortal, the fruit is ripe. Seize more my darling! Enjoy the day."
Author: Edna Stewart
12. "Vonnegut is one of America's basic artists, a true and worthy heir to the grand tradition of Thoreau, Whitman, Twain, Dreiser, Traven, Tom Wolfe (the real Tom Wolfe, I mean) and Steinbeck. In other words, he writes out of a concern for justice, love, honesty, and hope."
Author: Edward Abbey
13. "Some of his own closeness to nature, his great love for human beings, was passed on by Whitman to all of us who knew and loved him."
Author: Ella R. Bloor
14. "Not for a moment, beautiful aged Walt Whitman, have I failed to see your beard full of butterflies."
Author: Federico Garcia Lorca
15. "Too many poets act like a middle-aged mother trying to get her kids to eat too much cooked meat, and potatoes with drippings (tears). I don't give a damn whether they eat or not. Forced feeding leads to excessive thinness (effete). Nobody should experience anything they don't need to, if they don't need poetry bully for them. I like the movies too. And after all, only Whitman and Crane and Williams, of the American poets, are better than the movies."
Author: Frank O'Hara
16. "The whole imaginative effort of Walt Whitman was really an effort to absorb and animate these multitudinous modern repetitions; and Walt Whitman would be quite capable of including in his lyric litany of optimism a list of the nine hundred and ninety-nine identical bathrooms."
Author: G.K. Chesterton
17. "I always knew in my heart Walt Whitman's mind to be more like my own than any other man's living. As he is a very great scoundrel this is not a pleasant confession."
Author: Gerard Manley Hopkins
18. "If Henry Miller often sounded like a village idiot, it is because, like Whitman, he was the rest of the village as well."
Author: Gore Vidal
19. "We all fear loneliness, madness, dying. Shakespeare and Walt Whitman, Leopardi and Hart Crane will not cure those fears. And yet these poets bring us fire and light."
Author: Harold Bloom
20. "Dark influences from the American past congregate among us still. If we are a democracy, what are we to make of the palpable elements of plutocracy, oligarchy, and mounting theocracy that rule our state? How do we address the self-inflicted catastrophes that devastated our natural environment? So large is our malaise that no single writer can encompass it. We have no Emerson or Whitman among us. An institutionalized counterculture condemns individuality as archaic and depreciates intellectual values, even in the universities. (The Anatomy of Influence)"
Author: Harold Bloom
21. "I bring you the dance. I bring you the idea that is going to revolutionise our entire epoch. Where have I discovered it? By the Pacific Ocean, but the waving pine-forests of Sierra Nevada. I have seen the ideal figure of youthful American dancing over the top of the Rockies. The supreme poet of our country is Walt Whitman. I have discovered the dance that is worthy of the poem of Walt Whitman. I am indeed the spiritual daughter of Walt Whitman. For the children of America I will create a new dance that will express America. I bring to your theatre the vital soul that it lacks, the soul of the dancer. For you know...that the birth of the theatre was the dance, that the first actor was the dancer. He danced and sang. That was the birth of the tragedy, and until the dancer in all his spontaneous great art returns to the theatre, your theatre will not live in its true expression!"
Author: Isadora Duncan
22. "... in fact any good mind properly taught can think like Euclid and like Walt Whitman. The Renaissance, as we saw, was full of such minds, equally competent as poet and as engineers. The modern notion of "the two cultures," incompatible under one skull, comes solely from the proliferation of specialties in science; but these also divide scientists into groups that do not understand one another, the cause being the sheer mass of detail and the diverse terminologies. In essence the human mind remains one, not 2 or 60 different organs."
Author: Jacques Barzun
23. "Mother prescribing her books like medicines. A good dose of Whitman would set me straight, like castor oil. But at least she was thinking of me. I existed once more."
Author: Janet Fitch
24. "It's art that pushes against psychological and social expectations, that tries to transform decay into something generative, that is replicative in a baroque way, that isn't about progress, and wants to - as Walt Whitman put it - 'contain multitudes.'"
Author: Jerry Saltz
25. "I celebrate myself," the poet Walt Whitman wrote. The thought is so delicious it is almost obscene. Imagine the joy that would come with celebrating the self — our achievements, our experiences, our existence. Imagine what it would be like to look into the mirror and say, as God taught us, "That's good."
Author: Joan D. Chittister
26. "These are all direct quotes, except every time they use a curse word, I'm going to use the name of a famous American poet:'You Walt Whitman-ing, Edna St. Vincent Millay! Go Emily Dickinson your mom!''Thanks for the advice, you pathetic piece of E.E. Cummings, but I think I'm gonna pass.''You Robert Frost-ing Nikki Giovanni! Get a life, nerd. You're a virgin.''Hey bro, you need to go outside and get some fresh air into you. Or a girlfriend.'I need to get a girlfriend into me? I think that shows a fundamental lack of comprehension about how babies are made."
Author: John Green
27. "A Whitman által jól ismert és feudálisnak nevezett klasszikus modellekben mindig van egy központi hos — Akhilleusz, Odüsszeusz, Aeneas, Roland, Cid, Siegfried, Krisztus –, aki fölébe magasodik a neki alávetett összes többi embernek. Ez a kiváltság, gondolta Whitman, egy olyan világ tartozéka, amelyet már túlhaladtunk, vagy legalábbis szeretnénk túlhaladni: az arisztokrácia világáé. Az én hoskölteményem nem lehet ilyen: összetettebbnek kell lennie, kifejezve vagy feltételezve minden ember teljes, semmihez sem hasonlítható egyenloségét."
Author: Jorge Luis Borges
28. "We did meet forty years ago. At that time we were both influenced by Whitman and I said, jokingly in part, 'I don't think anything can be done in Spanish, do you?' Neruda agreed, but we decided it was too late for us to write our verse in English. We'd have to make the best of a second-rate literature."
Author: Jorge Luis Borges
29. "In vain have oceans been squandered on you, in vainthe sun, wonderfully seen through Whitman's eyes.You have used up the years and they have used up you,and still, and still, you have not written the poem."
Author: Jorge Luis Borges
30. "Whenever he looks at me with those big brown eyes, I feel like giving him a nut," she said. She even started calling the squirrels running around in the park Mr. Whitmans."
Author: Kerstin Gier
31. "Gideon mi lasciò, si alzò e si avvicinò a Mr Whitman. «Dovrò ammanettarlo» disse con un sospiro. «E poi bisogna fasciare la ferita del dottor White.»«Sì, e poi dobbiamo liberare gli altri dalla stanza del cronografo»aggiunsi. «Ma prima sarà meglio mettersi d'accordo sulla storia da raccontare.»«E prima ancora devo assolutamente baciarti» concluse Gideon abbracciandomi di nuovo."
Author: Kerstin Gier
32. "I really love poetry. I'm a big E.E. Cummings fan and a big Walt Whitman fan, and I have a big book of poetry."
Author: Mae Whitman
33. "What if good institutions were in fact the product of good intentions? What if the cynicism that is supposed to be rigor and the acquisitiveness that is supposed to be realism are making us forget the origins of the greatness we lay claim to - power and wealth as secondary consequences of the progress of freedom, or, as Whitman would prefer, Democracy?"
Author: Marilynne Robinson
34. "The days shuffled by like bland schoolgirls. I didn't notice their individual faces, only their basic uniform: day and night, day and night.I had no patience for showers or balanced meals. I did a lot of lying on floors — childish certainly, but when one can lie on floors without anyone seeing one, trust me, one will lie on a floor. I discovered, too, the fleeting yet discernible joy of biting into a Whitman's chocolate and throwing the remaining half behind the sofa in the library. I could read, read, read until my eyes burned and the words floating like noodles in soup."
Author: Marisha Pessl
35. "I answer that question by saying: 'Why Meg Whitman' which is: I'm not a career politician. I spent 30 years in business. I can tell you that people in California have had it with career politicians: they are done."
Author: Meg Whitman
36. "Isabel never despaired, even though I think she knew everything that was going to happen, right from the beginning. There was a Walt Whitman poem she liked, especially the part that went - 'All goes onward and outward,/Nothing collapses/And to die is different from/What anyone supposes/And Luckier.' She tried to believe that, and it gave her some comfort, I know. She was very brave. Always. She hid her anguish and sadness, although I know she felt them. Because she wasn't losing only one person she loved - as we have. She was losing all of them."
Author: Patricia Gaffney
37. "Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes. That's our official slogan."
Author: Ray Bradbury
38. "Life is short, but it is wide. Genevieve Whitman taught me that."
Author: Rebecca Wells
39. "The poetry of Walt Whitman. I can return again and again to these magnificent poems and still get pleasure from reading them."
Author: Robert Littell
40. "One way of emphasizing the singularity of the recent past is [..] to observe that the total number of humans ever to have lived is estimated at around (a bit less than) 100 billion. One of Walt Whitman's poems has a memorable image—thinking of all past people lined up in orderly columns behind those living—‘row upon row rise the phantoms behind us'. Actually, looking over our shoulder, we would see only around 15 rows."
Author: Robert M. May
41. "According to Padilla, remembered Amalfitano, all literature could be classified as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Novels, in general, were heterosexual. Poetry, on the other hand, was completely homosexual. Within the vast ocean of poetry he identified various currents: faggots, queers, sissies, freaks, butches, fairies, nymphs, and philenes. But the two major currents were faggots and queers. Walt Whitman, for example, was a faggot poet. Pablo Neruda, a queer. William Blake was definitely a faggot. Octavio Paz was a queer. Borges was a philene, or in other words he might be a faggot one minute and simply asexual the next."
Author: Roberto Bolaño
42. "Dentro del inmenso océano de la poesía distinguía varias corrientes: maricones, maricas, mariquitas, locas, bujarrones, mariposas, ninfos y filenos. Las dos corrientes mayores, sin embargo, eran la de los maricones y la de los maricas. Walt Whitman, por ejemplo, era un poeta maricón. Pablo Neruda, un poeta marica. William Blake era maricón, sin asomo de duda, y Octavio Paz marica. Borges era fileno, es decir de improviso podía ser maricón y de improviso simplemente asexual. Rubén Darío era una loca, de hecho la reina y el paradigma de las locas. —En nuestra lengua, claro está —aclaró—; en el mundo ancho y ajeno el paradigma sigue siendo Verlaine el Generoso. Una loca, según San Epifanio, estaba más cerca del manicomio florido y de las alucinaciones en carne viva mientras que los maricones y los maricas vagaban sincopadamente de la Ética a la Estética y viceversa."
Author: Roberto Bolaño
43. "I figure guys are like Whitman's Samplers. I like to take a little bite out of each and then move on before the whole box gets stale."
Author: Sue Grafton
44. "Blanche:No, I have the misfortune of being an English instructor. I attempt to instill a bunch of bobby-soxers and drugstore Romeos with a reverence for Hawthorne and Whitman and Poe!"
Author: Tennessee Williams
45. "It is no discredit to Walt Whitman that he wrote Leaves of Grass, only that he did not burn it afterwards."
Author: Thomas Wentworth Higginson
46. "Whitman's poems present no trace of rhyme, save in a couple or so of chance instances. Parts of them, indeed, may be regarded as a warp of prose amid the weft of poetry,"
Author: Walt Whitman
47. "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."
Author: Walt Whitman
48. "I meet new Walt Whitmans everyday. There are a dozen of them afloat. I don't know which Walt Whitman I am."
Author: Walt Whitman

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All crosses had their tops cut and became T's. There was also a thing called God."
Author: Aldous Huxley

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