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May 2, 2019

The Barbaric Yawp by Walt Whitman
The Barbaric Yawp by Walt Whitman

How well do you know your Walt Whitman? We’re putting you to the test! As we celebrate Whitman’s 200th birthday this year at the library, we want to test your knowledge of Whitman. Can you guess which of the below quotes is legitimate or will you be fooled by our nonsense quotes? Let’s see! (Scroll down to reveal the answers and let us know in the comments how many you got right!)

1. Which quote is from a Walt Whitman poem?

A) "These and all else were to me the same as they are to you, I loved well those cities, loved well the stately and rapid river, the men and women I saw were all near to me.”

B) “Somehow I know that there’s a place up above, with no more hurt and struggling, free of all atrocities and suffering.”

2. Which of these quotes comes from Walt Whitman?

A) “To feel alive and then you casually walked in the room and I was twisted in the web of my desire for you.”

B) “What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.”

3. Can you spot the Walt Whitman quote?

A) “And maybe then the future will be a time, without war, destitution and sorrow.”

B) “Day by day and night by night we were together—all else has long been forgotten by me.”

4. Which quote is a legitimate Walt Whitman quote?

A) “Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you.”

B) “If the sun don't shine on me today and if the subways flood and bridges break, will you lay yourself down and dig your grave or will you rail against your dying day?”

5. Which quote was written by Walt Whitman?

A) “Happiness not in another place, but this place . . not for another hour, but this hour.”

B) “Trying to keep a grown man quiet's like, pulling teeth on a winters eve, cracks and poles and unfamiliar roads, I'm on this one to find out.”


Walt Whitman graphic that is half orange and half blue with the text Whitman 200 over it.

Answer key: 1) A 2) B 3) B 4) A 5) A

Love the quotes that tricked you into thinking they were from Walt Whitman? Look to songs from Mariah Carey, The Head and the Heart, and The Lumineers for a touch of Whitman in the 21st Century! 

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