Walt Whitman

‘Certainly, the technological-practical way of conceiving things has sucked the soul out of every single living phenomenon in the whole of nature, and it has ended by depriving suffering and poverty of a soul. But in pantheism we’ve found the ·common soul of all particulars, of all that has been isolated. We can
renounce all sovereign divine ends because the world, the unity of the manifold, is the goal of goals. No doubt it’s almost shameful to go on like this. Just turn to the works of our’ great living poets, Whitman, Paquet, Rilke, and of numberless others, enter into the spirit of the Free-Religious Movement; read the pages of the liberal
press: everywhere you find a vehement pantheist feeling-to say nothing of monism, the synthesis of all our form? This is the living power of technology-living despite all: namely, that it has given us the.glory of those who pursue knowledge and, at the same time, the reverence of those who have contemplated the glorious structure of
the world. For despite all pursuit of knowledge-am I wrong?-no generation has yet contemplated the humblest life-forms as reverently as we have. And what once animated the philosophers (from the earliest Ionians to Spinoza) and the poets (up to the Spinozist Goethe)-this feeling for nature as everywhere divine-has become
our patrimony.’ (‘Dialogue on the Religiosity of the Present’, EW 66)

‘That Baudelaire was hostile to progress was an indispensible condition of his being able to cope with Paris in his poetry. Compared to his, later city poetry must be accounted feeble, and not least where it sees the city as the seat of progress. But Walt Whitman?’ (‘Central Park’, S35, GS 683)