Creative Muse
 

Song of Myself Excerpts

by Walt Whitman

 

 

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loaf and invite my soul,

I lean and loaf at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

* * *

I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end,

But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

 

There was never any more inception than there is now,

Nor any more youth or age than there is now,

And will never be any more perfection than there is now,

Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

* * *

Has anyone suppesed it lucky to be born?

I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.

I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-washed babe, and am not contained between my hat and boots.

* * *

Press close bare-bosomed night--press close magnetic nourishing night!

Night of south winds--night of the large few stars!

Still nodding night--mad naked summer night.

Smile O voluptuous cool-breathed earth!

Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees!

Earth of the departed sunset--earth of the mountains misty-topped!

Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue!

* * *

Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touched from,

The scent of these armpits aroma finer than prayer,

This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds.

* * *

A morning glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.

To behold the daybreak!

* * *

Behold, I do not give lectures or a little charity,

When I give I give myself.

* * *

And whoever walks a fulrong without sympathy walks to his own funeral dressed in his shroud,

And I or you pocketless of a dime may purchase the pick of the earth,

And to glance with an eye or show a bean in its pod confounds the learning of all times,

And there is no trade or employment but the young man following it may become a hero,

And there is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the wheeled universe,

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

* * *

I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then,

In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass,

I find letters from God dropped in the street, and every one is signed by God's name,

And I leave them where they are, for I know that wheresoe'er I go

Others will punctually come forever.

* * *

Do I contradict myself?

Very well then I contradict myself,

(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

* * *

The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab and my loitering.

I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,

I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

* * *

I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,

I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.

 

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,

If you want me again look for me under your boot soles.

 

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,

But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,

And filter and fiber your blood.

 

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,

Missing me one place search another,

I stop somewhere waiting for you.

 

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