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Love Poetry by Walt Whitman

By Gary R. Hess. Category: Poetry
Whitman love poems

Walt Whitman is known as one of the greatest American poets of all time. However, he isn't normally thought of as a love poet. His greatest works are seen to be those about patriotism and democracy. Nonetheless, Walt Whitman wrote several love poems which became instant classics and are beloved today as much as they were when he wrote them.

Some of Whitman's love poetry is not gender specific. Because of this, Whitman is said to have been bisexual. His non-gender specific poetry makes readers think that he was writing to men and not only women. Here's an example:

In To a Stranger, Whitman's famous words are:

You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only,

This quotation in itself could mean several different meanings. Is he talking about himself or is he writing it simply as a way for readers of both genders to understand where he is coming from?

In other works such as Fast Anchor'd Eternal O Love!, Whitman is not as open-ended:

Fast-anchor'd eternal O love! O woman I love!

Was Walt Whitman bisexual? All indications say he was. However, no matter what your moral fibers state about such a person shouldn't matter. He was a fantastic poet.

Although Whitman's love poetry isn't uttered in the same sentence as John Donne nor Oscar Wilde, they are still and will always be seen as part of the greatest collaborations of works in history.

Below is a list of Walt Whitman's most famous love poems.

  1. As if a Phantom Caress'd Me - I thought I was not alone walking here by the shore;
  2. Fast Anchor'd Eternal O Love! - O bride! O wife! more resistless than I can tell, the thought of you!
  3. From Pent-Up Aching Rivers
  4. Once I Pass'd through a Populous City - Yet now of all that city I remember only a woman I casually met
  5. So Lon
  6. Sometimes with One I Love - Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse unreturn'd love,
  7. To a Stranger - I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
  8. When I Heard at the Close of the Day - O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish'd me more, and the beautiful day pass'd well,

Although these poems aren't always listed as his most accomplished works, they are definitely worth the read, especially for those of you who love romantic poetry.

Don't underestimate the greatness that Whitman brought with him to the world of poetry.