I SAY whatever tastes sweet to the most perfect person, that is
  finally right.

  I say nourish a great intellect, a great brain;
  If I have said anything to the contrary, I hereby retract it.

  I say man shall not hold property in man;
  I say the least developed person on earth is just as important and
  sacred to himself or herself, as the most developed person is
  to himself or herself.

  I say where liberty draws not the blood out of slavery, there slavery
  draws the blood out of liberty,
  I say the word of the good old cause in These States, and resound it
  hence over the world.

  I say the human shape or face is so great, it must never be made
  I say for ornaments nothing outre can be allowed,
  And that anything is most beautiful without ornament, 10
  And that exaggerations will be sternly revenged in your own
  physiology, and in other persons' physiology also;
  And I say that clean-shaped children can be jetted and conceived only
  where natural forms prevail in public, and the human face and
  form are never caricatured;
  And I say that genius need never more be turned to romances,
  (For facts properly told, how mean appear all romances.)

  I say the word of lands fearing nothing--I will have no other land;
  I say discuss all and expose all--I am for every topic openly;
  I say there can be no salvation for These States without innovators--
  without free tongues, and ears willing to hear the tongues;
  And I announce as a glory of These States, that they respectfully
  listen to propositions, reforms, fresh views and doctrines,
  from successions of men and women,
  Each age with its own growth.

  I have said many times that materials and the Soul are great, and
  that all depends on physique; 20
  Now I reverse what I said, and affirm that all depends on the
  æsthetic or intellectual,
  And that criticism is great--and that refinement is greatest of all;
  And I affirm now that the mind governs--and that all depends on the

  With one man or woman--(no matter which one--I even pick out the
  With him or her I now illustrate the whole law;
  I say that every right, in politics or what-not, shall be eligible to
  that one man or woman, on the same terms as any.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Walt Whitman

Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. more…

All Walt Whitman poems | Walt Whitman Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)


Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Discuss this Walt Whitman poem with the community:


Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


"Says" STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 22 Sep. 2019. <>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

Our favorite collection of

Famous Poets


Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.