Walter “Walt” Whitman

May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892

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Place of birth: West Hills, Huntington, Long Island, New York, U.S.
Best thing about him: One of the most influential figures of American poetry, often considered the father of free verse
Most important work: Leaves of Grass
Interesting facts:

  • He was a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War
  • Although still a matter of debate, he is often considered homosexual or bisexual, sexuality being expressed very openly in some of his works
  • His works are known to encompass characteristics and views of such movements as humanism, transcendentalism and realism

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21 beautiful quotes by Walt Whitman:

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

2.”Nothing endures but personal qualities.”

3.”I say to mankind, Be not curious about God. For I, who am curious about each, am not curious about God – I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least.”

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

5.”If any thing is sacred the human body is sacred.”

6.”Behold I do not give lectures or a little charity, When I give I give myself.”

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7.”Have you heard that it was good to gain the day? I also say it is good to fall, battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.”

8.”Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.”

9.”Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you?”

10.”The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.”

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

12.”After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on – have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains? Nature remains.”

13.”Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

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14.”All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor.”

15.”The future is no more uncertain than the present.”

16.”Be curious, not judgmental.”

17.”Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults your soul.”

18.”Oh while I live, to be the ruler of life, not a slave, to meet life as a powerful conqueror, and nothing exterior to me will ever take command of me.”

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

20.”The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual.”

21.”I exist as I am, that is enough.”

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