All Is Truth Poem by Walt Whitman

All Is Truth

Rating: 2.9



O ME, man of slack faith so long!
Standing aloof--denying portions so long;
Only aware to-day of compact, all-diffused truth;
Discovering to-day there is no lie, or form of lie, and can be none,
but grows as inevitably upon itself as the truth does upon
itself,
Or as any law of the earth, or any natural production of the earth
does.

(This is curious, and may not be realized immediately--But it must be
realized;
I feel in myself that I represent falsehoods equally with the rest,
And that the universe does.)

Where has fail'd a perfect return, indifferent of lies or the truth?
Is it upon the ground, or in water or fire? or in the spirit of man?
or in the meat and blood? 10

Meditating among liars, and retreating sternly into myself, I see
that there are really no liars or lies after all,
And that nothing fails its perfect return--And that what are called
lies are perfect returns,
And that each thing exactly represents itself, and what has preceded
it,
And that the truth includes all, and is compact, just as much as
space is compact,
And that there is no flaw or vacuum in the amount of the truth--but
that all is truth without exception;
And henceforth I will go celebrate anything I see or am,
And sing and laugh, and deny nothing.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Kevin Howard 24 April 2005

Here, Whitman defines truth by perspective...our own. Truth is. Typically, we define truth in terms of its consistency with the origin...it is what it appears to be. Whitman offers an alternative steeped in wisdom and insight. Truth is what we experience...see, feel, taste, smell, hear. The quality of these truths are revealed over time...they always return perfectly. So let us take his wise advice: absorb everything, deny nothing, and discern what experience teaches.

14 5 Reply
James Mccallum 12 February 2010

I think the clue to what Walt is saying is the effect. The perfect return. That no idea, statement or action is in itself a truth or a lie. It is the consequence of the idea, statement or action, 'the perfect return' that embodies the truth. Consider the first chapter of James from the New Testament. How hardship is a blessing. You are the perfect result of the life you lived. The connection of opposites 'consider all your hardships a blessing, so as my truth my work may be complete in you.' No judgment no relativism, just perseverance.

10 8 Reply
Panmelys Panmelys 07 February 2015

It is a wonderful message of truth in all its onion skins, no part of life or nature can deny this, it is for humans to seek this in every way given to him or her to search and discover. Walt Whitman came to America when she mostly needed someone to put into language her enormous potential of future greatness, and indeed she is a remarkable example of unity, in all its cloak of many colors, in so short a space of time. Just 500 years and she has risen to become a worlwide power, and will continue to grow and expand, develop depth of wisdom as she spreads her wings and discovers all of Walt Whitman called - leaves of grass. A united nation has one flag, one anthem! Panmelys

6 10 Reply
seriz o 08 April 2008

how can there be any bond between two things that are exact opposites, really? some things can not and should not be determined by observations alone. even Satan takes the form of an angel of light. there are absolute truths. flawed views of sin cause us to romanticize that we could ever reconcile good and evil. relativism (not relativity) so effectively leads men astray, and ever so often, even the greatest of men.

10 5 Reply
John Northern 15 December 2016

Nothing and everything are infinitely bonded. And give one of your absolute truths?

0 0 Reply
random 23 March 2021

the 'download image of this poem' link only pulls up a picture of part of the poem. it looks like it is cropped on the right.

0 0 Reply
MAHTAB BANGALEE 25 January 2021

All is truth on the base of present activity; all is peacefull on the stage of present enjoyment; we have to handle every present thougth the acute wind of truth then all shall be truth

0 0 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 08 April 2019

Meditating among liars! What a fanciful exercise? An innovative theme and departure from routine.

0 0 Reply
Kshirod Kumar Dehury 04 December 2017

i like this poem, i really enjoy your poem.10+++

0 1 Reply
John Northern 15 December 2016

For me the key to this poem is in the first letter 'O'. As in zero, nothing, the opposition being everything, all. To know the truth of someting, it's matter, , is to consider its measurement, which is in effect, an infinite degree, consequently there are no truths in number, zero and infinity are opposite and equal at the same time.they co exist Our universe is eternal and created from nothing with infinite faith

3 1 Reply
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Walt Whitman

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