Poem of Perfect Miracles | Walt Whitman, 1856



Realism is mine, my miracles,
Take all of the rest—take freely—I keep 
but my own—I give only of them,
I offer them without end—I offer them to you 
wherever your feet can carry you, or your 
eyes reach.

Why! who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward 
the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in 
the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love—or sleep in 
the bed at night with any one I love,
Or sit at the table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of an 
August forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds—or the wonderfulness of insects in the 
air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down—or of 
stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new-
moon in May,
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that 
like me best—mechanics, boatmen, farmers,
Or among the savans—or to the soiree—or to 
the opera,
Or stand a long while looking at the movements 
of machinery,
Or behold children at their sports,
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or 
the perfect old woman,
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to 
burial,
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass,
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me 
miracles,
The whole referring—yet each distinct and in its 
place.

To me, every hour of the light and dark is a 
miracle,
Every inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is 
spread with the same,

Every cubic foot of the interior swarms with the 
same;
Every spear of grass—the frames, limbs, organs, 
of men and women, and all that concerns 
them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.

To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion 
of the waves—the ships, with men in them 
—what stranger miracles are there?



Poem of Perfect Miracles, Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman, 1856


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