One of the most influential American poets of all time and the father of free verse, Walt Whitman would have been 196 today.
His seminal work Leaves of Grass is the ultimate celebration of life, humanity, nature, and the strength of the human body and spirit. He wanted to bring poetry to everyone and through his writing, developed a singularly American voice.
So to honor the country's first "poet of democracy," here are 19 quotes from his poetry, essays and speeches to hopefully push you to be inspired by yourself and think of your body, mind and spirit as curious, wonderful things.
"Be curious, not judgmental."
"I celebrate myself, and sing myself."
"Each of us inevitable; / Each of us limitless—each of us with his or her right upon the earth."
"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you,""I exist as I am, that is enough."If any thing is sacred, the human body is sacred."
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large — I contain multitudes.”