Shut Not Your Doors to Me Proud Libraries

Walt Whitman
Steel engraving of Walt Whitman. Published in 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass

Shut not your doors to me, proud libraries,
For that which was lacking among you all, yet needed most, I bring;
A book I have made for your dear sake, O soldiers,
And for you, O soul of man, and you, love of comrades;
The words of my book nothing, the life of it everything;
A book separate, not link’d with the rest, nor felt by the intellect;
But you will feel every word, O Libertad! arm’d Libertad!
It shall pass by the intellect to swim the sea, the air,
With joy with you, O soul of man.

— Walt Whitman, “Shut Not Your Doors to Me Proud Libraries”

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