I had the good fortune of studying Walt Whitman as a student in college. I cannot say I understood what I was being presented with at the time, but I can say that he got into my cells even then, without my knowing, and now I can begin to appreciate the genius that he’s imparted to anyone who takes the time to feel into the magic of his words.
I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best. – Walt Whitman
(that we might all know this within our cells and come to love one another)
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. — by Walt Whitman, from the preface of Leaves of Grass
And this too, also from the man who is an ecstatic extraordinaire: Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)