Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass
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Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Leaves of Grass.  1900.

12. 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;)         5
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:  10
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. 


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