Thoughts (Poem by Walter Whitman)

Famous Poem

Thoughts (1)
By Walter Whitman

Of ownership — as if one fit to own things could not at pleasure enter upon all, and incorporate them into himself or herself;
Of vista — suppose some sight in arriere through the formative chaos, presuming the growth, fulness, life, now attain’d on the journey,
(But I see the road continued, and the journey ever continued;)
Of what was once lacking on earth, and in due time has become supplied — and of what will yet be supplied,
Because all I see and know I believe to have its main purport in what will yet be supplied.

Thoughts (2)
By Walter Whitman

Of public opinion,
Of a calm and cool fiat sooner or later, (how impassive! how certain and final!)
Of the President with pale face asking secretly to himself, What will the people say at last?
Of the frivolous Judge — of the corrupt Congressman, Governor, Mayor — of such as these standing helpless and exposed,
Of the mumbling and screaming priest, (soon, soon deserted,)
Of the lessening year by year of venerableness, and of the dicta of officers, statutes, pulpits, schools,
Of the rising forever taller and stronger and broader of the intuitions of men and women, and of Self-esteem and Personality;
Of the true New World — of the Democracies resplendent en-masse,
Of the conformity of politics, armies, navies, to them,
Of the shining sun by them — of the inherent light, greater than the rest,
Of the envelopment of all by them, and the effusion of all from them.

Thoughts (3)
By Walter Whitman


Of these years I sing,
How they pass and have pass’d through convuls’d pains, as through parturitions,
How America illustrates birth, muscular youth, the promise, the sure fulfilment, the absolute success, despite of people — illustrates evil as well as good,
The vehement struggle so fierce for unity in one’s-self,
How many hold despairingly yet to the models departed, caste, myths, obedience, compulsion, and to infidelity,
How few see the arrived models, the athletes, the Western States, or see freedom or spirituality, or hold any faith in results,
(But I see the athletes, and I see the results of the war glorious and inevitable, and they again leading to other results.)

How the great cities appear — how the Democratic masses, turbulent, willful, as I love them,
How the whirl, the contest, the wrestle of evil with good, the sounding and resounding, keep on and on,
How society waits unform’d, and is for a while between things ended and things begun,
How America is the continent of glories, and of the triumph of freedom and of the Democracies, and of the fruits of society, and of all that is begun,
And how the States are complete in themselves — and how all triumphs and glories are complete in themselves, to lead onward,
And how these of mine and of the States will in their turn be convuls’d, and serve other parturitions and transitions,
And how all people, sights, combinations, the democratic masses too, serve — and how every fact, and war itself, with all its horrors, serves,
And how now or at any time each serves the exquisite transition of death.


Of seeds dropping into the ground, of births,
Of the steady concentration of America, inland, upward, to impregnable and swarming places,
Of what Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, and the rest, are to be,
Of what a few years will show there in Nebraska, Colorado, Nevada, and the rest,
(Or afar, mounting the Northern Pacific to Sitka or Aliaska,)
Of what the feuillage of America is the preparation for — and of what all sights, North, South, East and West, are,
Of this Union welded in blood, of the solemn price paid, of the unnamed lost ever present in my mind;
Of the temporary use of materials for identity’s sake,
Of the present, passing, departing — of the growth of completer men than any yet,
Of all sloping down there where the fresh free giver the mother, the Mississippi flows,
Of mighty inland cities yet unsurvey’d and unsuspected,
Of the new and good names, of the modern developments, of inalienable homesteads,
Of a free and original life there, of simple diet and clean and sweet blood,
Of litheness, majestic faces, clear eyes, and perfect physique there,
Of immense spiritual results future years far West, each side of the Anahuacs,
Of these songs, well understood there, (being made for that area,)
Of the native scorn of grossness and gain there,
(O it lurks in me night and day — what is gain after all to savageness and freedom?)

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