Walt Whitman: Poems

Leaves of Grass: To A Pupil


Is reform needed? Is it through you?

The greater the reform needed, the greater the PERSONALITY you need to

accomplish it.

You! do you not see how it would serve to have eyes, blood, complexion,

clean and sweet?

Do you not see how it would serve to have such a Body and Soul that, when

you enter the crowd, an atmosphere of desire and command enters

with you, and every one is impressed with your personality?


O the magnet! the flesh over and over!

Go, dear friend! if need be, give up all else, and commence to-day to inure

yourself to pluck, reality, self-esteem, definiteness,


Rest not, till you rivet and publish yourself of your own personality.