Walt Whitman

Let others dispose of questions, I dispose of nothing, I arouse
unanswerable questions,
Who are they I see and touch, and what about them?
What about these likes of myself that draw me so close by tender
directions and indirections?”

— Walt Whitman, “Myself and Me”, On the Beach at Night Alone

Walt Whitman

I call to the world to distrust the accounts of my friends, but
listen to my enemies, as I myself do,
I charge you forever reject those who would expound me, for I
cannot expound myself,
I charge that there be no theory or school founded out of me,
I charge you to leave all free, as I have left all free.”

— Walt Whitman, “Myself and Me”, On the Beach at Night Alone

Tortoise

Oh, you do me wrong. Would I do anything wicked? I’m a peaceful soul, bothering nobody and leading a gentle, herbivorous life. And my thoughts merely drift among the oddities and quarks of how things are (as I see them). I, humble observer of phenomena, plod along and puff my silly words into the air rather unspectacularly, I am afraid.”

— Tortoise, Godel Escher Bach, Douglas Hofstadter