Youth, Day, Old Age and Night. Poetry Corner

Walt Whitman summarizes the arc of life in this poem.

Walt Whitman's use of free verse became apprec...

Walt Whitman Poems Were Most Noted for their Introduction of Free Verse

His reflections when he wrote it in 1881 must have given him some peace, after having seen so many young lives cut down during the Civil War.

At the end of 1862, he set out to find his brother, whom he thought wounded, then stayed in Washington, DC at various government jobs, and read poetry to soldiers as a volunteer nurse throughout the war.


Youth, Day, Old Age, and Night


Youth, large, lusty, loving – youth full of grace, force, fascination,

Do you know that Old Age may come after you with equal grace, force,



Day full-blown and splendid – day of the immense sun, action,

ambition, laughter,

The Night follows close with millions of suns, and sleep and restoring




Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

From Leaves of Grass: The Collected Poems of Walt Whitman


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