Walt Whitman poetry
famous poetry quotations
Song Of Myself
In the first edition of "Leaves Of Grass," (1855), this
poem was untitled.
In the second edition, it was called "Poem Of Walt Whitman, An
The selection presented below is the opening of the version,
finally entitled "Song Of Myself," that appeared in the third
edition of 1882.
I celebrate myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer
My tongue, every atom of my blood, formed from this soil, this
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their
parents the same,
I, now thirty seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.
Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every
Nature without check with original energy.
Houses and rooms are full or perfumes, the shelves are crowded
I breathe the fragrance myself, and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let
The atmosphere is not a perfume it has no taste of the
distillation, it is odorless,
It is for my mouth forever....I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.
The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, buzz'd whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the
passing of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and
dark- color'd sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,
The sound of the belch'd words of my voice loos'd to the eddies
of the wind,
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the
fields and hillsides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me
rising from bed and meeting the sun.
Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd the
Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the
origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are
millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look
through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.