Walt Whitman: Poems

Leaves of Grass: Voices


Now I make a leaf of Voices--for I have found nothing mightier than they


And I have found that no word spoken but is beautiful in its place.


O what is it in me that makes me tremble so at voices?

Surely, whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her I shall follow,

As the water follows the moon, silently, with fluid steps anywhere around

the globe.

All waits for the right voices;

Where is the practised and perfect organ? Where is the developed Soul?

For I see every word uttered thence has deeper, sweeter, new sounds,

impossible on less terms.

I see brains and lips closed--tympans and temples unstruck,

Until that comes which has the quality to strike and to unclose,

Until that comes which has the quality to bring forth what lies slumbering,

for ever ready, in all words.