We see miracles all around us, according to the American poet Walt Whitman. His advise is quite simple: learn to appreciate the things we take for granted as they were miracles. This is his poem Miracles, a free verse poem.
What is a miracle?
The poet Walt Whitman asks if you can look around and see what miracles are to be found in the world we live in. It does not matter, that he wrote this poem a long time ago. It also doesn’t matter, if you don’t walk the streets of Manhattan in New York City.
We all heard stories about miracles or so-called miracles. But, it is not always about someone who gained the ability to see again or started walking again. No, there is so much more. It isn’t always an intervention of something divine.
Whitman tries it with a clever opening line. Who is able to give a miracle a certain value? Are you able to do this, based on your beliefs or what is commonly considered as something miraculous? To make it easier for the reader, he sums up some things that could be considered as miracles. But, are they?
According to Whitman, the world is full of them. More than we are able to see or more than we give us time to see. We take things for granted, we assume they are normal. He also faces the challenge to determine what is a miracle and what not. He knows one thing for sure, that miracles seem to be harmonious. As if they were humans, working together. Finally, it is up to the reader, to think about these miracles in the world we live in.
Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night
with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so
quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the
ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?
— Walt Whitman