Unfolded out of the folds of the woman man comes unfolded, and is always to come unfolded,
Unfolded only out of the superbest woman of the earth is to come the superbest man of the earth,
Unfolded out of the friendliest woman is to come the friendliest man,
Unfolded only out of the perfect body of a woman can a man be form'd of perfect body,
Unfolded only out of the inimitable poems of woman can come the poems of man, (only thence have my poems come;)
Unfolded out of the strong and arrogant woman I love, only thence can appear the stong and arrogant man I love,
Unfolded by brawny embraces from the well-muscled woman I love, only thence come the brawny embraces of the man,
Unfolded out of the folds of the woman's brain come all the folds of the man's brain, duly obendient,
Unfolded out of the justice of the woman all justice is unfolded,
Unfolded out of the sympathy of the woman is all sympathy;
A man is a great thing upon the earth and through eternity, but every jot of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman;
First the man is shaped in the woman, he can then be shaped in himself.
Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. Proclaimed the "greatest of all American poets" by many foreign observers a mere four years after his death, he is viewed as the first urban poet. His works have even been translated into more than 25 languages. Whitman is among the most influential and controversial poets in the American canon. His work has been described as a "rude shock" and "the most audacious and debatable contribution yet made to American literature." He largely abandoned the metrical structures of European poetry for an expansionist freestyle verse—"irregular" but "beautifully rhythmic"— which represented his philosophical view that America was destined to reinvent the world as emancipator and liberator of the human spirit. As Whitman wrote in Leaves of Grass (By Blue Ontario's Shore), "Rhymes and rhymers pass away— . . . America justifies itself, give it time . . ."