Walt Whitman ‘Miracles’

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) is famous for his monumental poem, Leaves of Grass, where he pondered on the joys and philosophy of life. He is once again in fine form here as he praises the miracles of the ordinary in everyday life. I’ve taken the liberty of extracting parts of Whitman’s much longer poem, partly to resonate with our modern ears. You can read the full poem by Googling for it on the internet.

Excerpts from ‘Miracles’ by Walt Whitman

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 stand under trees in the woods,
or watch honey-bees busy around
the hive of a summer noon,
or the wonderfulness of the sundown,
or of stars shining so quiet and bright.

To me every hour of the light and dark
is a miracle,
every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
every square yard of the surface of the earth
is spread with the same,
every foot of the interior
swarms with the same.

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?

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