Walt Whitman

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

Behavior - Poem by Walt Whitman

BEHAVIOR--fresh, native, copious, each one for himself or herself,
Nature and the Soul expressed--America and freedom expressed--In it
the finest art,
In it pride, cleanliness, sympathy, to have their chance,
In it physique, intellect, faith--in it just as much as to manage an
army or a city, or to write a book--perhaps more,
The youth, the laboring person, the poor person, rivalling all the
rest--perhaps outdoing the rest,
The effects of the universe no greater than its;
For there is nothing in the whole universe that can be more effective
than a man's or woman's daily behavior can be,
In any position, in any one of These States.


Comments about Behavior by Walt Whitman

  • (12/8/2005 10:46:00 AM)


    This poem comes across to me as a poem about a land of great diversities. Although people go about their daily activities regardless of who they are, they're behavior is what sets them apart from the rest. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (12/8/2005 10:29:00 AM)


    To me it points out the differences between people, not depending on race, gender or all around looks, but by their behavior. Each person has their own behavior. And it's not only actions that determine the person but also they way the go about these actions. (Report) Reply

  • (12/2/2005 10:58:00 AM)


    the poem 'behavior' to me describes that the actions we choose to partake in can be the greatest determing factor of the remainder of our lives. bad choices lead down the wrong road, while the correct make your life easier and heading in the right direction to happiness. (Report) Reply

  • (12/2/2005 10:50:00 AM)


    Behavior is what defines a person in the world. Without expressing your purpose and character there is really no point to them. Walt Whitman is saying that therefore behavior is more 'effective' than anything else in the universe. (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: sympathy, america, freedom, city, faith, pride, woman, nature, women



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]