Walt Whitman

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Walt Whitman – 9 June 2008

Walt Whitman, who was born in 1819, was one of the greatest of American poets. Many Europeans considered him the national poet of America because his poems sing the praises of America and democracy. In his preface to the first edition of Leaves of Grass, his volume of poems published in 1855, Whitman said “The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.”

In the following poem, Walt Whitman makes some observations about animals:

Song of Myself
Walt Whitman
(1819 – 1892)
From Leaves of Grass

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self- contained,
I stand and look at them sometimes an hour at a stretch.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
No one is dissatisfied – not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.

For a collection of poems and stories, visit:

"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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