From Preface to Leaves of Grass



This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches,
give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your
income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience
and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown
or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and
with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air
every season of every year of your life, re examine all you have been told at
school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your
very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words
but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and
in every motion and joint of your body. . .




                                                                                           Walt Whitman