Poet Spotlight: Walt Whitman

Recommended Poetry Book: Leaves of Grass

Lived: 1819-1892

Favourite Quote:

And I say to any man or woman, Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.

48, Song of Myself

Selected Poem: Continuities

Opening Lines:

(From a talk I had lately with a German spiritualist.)

Nothing is ever really lost, or can be lost, / No birth, identity, form–no object of the world. / Nor life, nor force, nor any visible thing; / Appearance must not foil, nor shifted sphere confuse thy brain.


Walt Whitman wove words the way a river flows: naturally, not meant to be hindered, not meant to stop. His poetry was fluid and filled with contradictions, but each line seemed destined to follow or be preceded by the one before it. His stories seemed to be written in bold. He appreciated all natures of the world (including his fellow humans) and he strove to characterize beauty through ideals.

Other Poems

  • Song of Myself
  • O Captain! My Captain!
  • Thoughts
  • Song of the Open Road
  • Miracles
  • The Calming Thought of All
  • As I Ponder’d in Silence
  • Life
  • “Going Somewhere”

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