Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Unfolded Out of the Folds

Unfolded out of the folds of the woman man comes unfolded, and is always to come unfolded,   
Unfolded only out of the superbest woman of the earth is to come the superbest man of the earth,   
Unfolded out of the friendliest woman is to come the friendliest man,   
Unfolded only out of the perfect body of a woman can a man be form’d of perfect body, 
Unfolded only out of the inimitable poem of the woman can come the poems of man, (only thence have my poems come;)
Unfolded out of the strong and arrogant woman I love, only thence can appear the strong and arrogant man I love,   
Unfolded by brawny embraces from the well-muscled woman I love, only thence come the brawny embraces of the man;   
Unfolded out of the folds of the woman’s brain come all the folds of the man’s brain, duly obedient,
Unfolded out of the justice of the woman all justice is unfolded,
Unfolded out of the sympathy of the woman is all sympathy;
A man is a great thing upon the earth and through eternity, but every jot of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman;
First the man is shaped in the woman, he can then be shaped in himself.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

Author


Walt Whitman

Born on May 31, 1819, Walt Whitman is the author of Leaves of Grass and, along with Emily Dickinson, is considered one of the architects of a uniquely American poetic voice. 

Date Published: 1891-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/unfolded-out-folds