Author: Walt Whitman

Quotations


The divine literatus

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View'd, to-day, from a point of view sufficiently over-arching, the problem of humanity all over the civilized world is social and religious, and is to be finally met and treated by literature. The priest departs, the divine literatus comes. Never was anything more wanted than, to-day, and here in the States, the poet of the modern is wanted, or the great literatus of the modern.

From the essay Democratic Vistas

— 1871


Set off from the rest by a line drawn

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Of all dangers to a nation, as things exist in our day, there can be no greater one than having certain portions of the people set off from the rest by a line drawn – they not privileged as others, but degraded, humiliated, made of no account.

From the essay Democratic Vistas

— 1871


The Loftiest and Purest Art

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Talk not so much, then, young artist, of the great old masters, who but painted and chisell'd. Study not only their productions. There is a still higher school for him who would kindle his fire with coal from the altar of the loftiest and purest art. It is the school of all grand actions and grand virtues, of heroism, of the death of patriots and martyrs – of all the mighty deeds written in the pages of history – deeds of daring, and enthusiasm, devotion, and fortitude.

From the speech unknown

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