Walt Whitman

(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

Miracles



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 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 a summer forenoon, 10
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 spring;
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, 20
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 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;
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; 30
The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion of the waves--the ships,
with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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  • Rookie James Fortune (12/16/2005 10:56:00 AM)

    Whitman states that he does not know why miracles happen, but he sees everything in life as a miracle. This is an interesting view of life as most people take everyday things for granted. Whitman sees these things as miracles everyday. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Chea Smith (12/16/2005 10:23:00 AM)

    'Miracles' shows and appreciation for all things in life. Whether large or small or such and such. Basically Whitman is showing a great deal of love for all things living, dead, or inanimate. He appreciates other people, animals, little things like just seeing a bird fly bye. He seems to be high on life. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kristina Carter (12/16/2005 10:16:00 AM)

    In this poem, Whitman realizes the importance of everything. A lot of times, the small things are taken for granted, but he is sending out the message that everything is just as important as the next. Even the things that no one thinks about regularly. (Report) Reply

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