“Miracles” by Walt Whitman

Potthast, Edward_Beach Scene, Coney Island
Edward Henry Potthast (American, 1857–1927), Beach Scene, Coney Island, 1915–18. Oil on wood panel, 11 7/8 × 16 in. (30.2 × 40.6 cm). Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Photo: Victoria Emily Jones. [object record]

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,
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 soirée—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,
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;
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the ships, with men in them,	 
What stranger miracles are there?

“Miracles” by Walt Whitman was originally published in the second edition of Leaves of Grass (Fowler & Wells, 1856). It is in the public domain.

3 thoughts on ““Miracles” by Walt Whitman

  1. and visit by grandson Andrew & partner Jeff
    and coffee at Pan Chanhco
    and lunch with them, Hilary & Sara at
    Chez Pigguy
    and Sara’s dog, William visiting overnight
    and sitting with the balcony door open
    while the breeze blows in
    Lucky me. Christina


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