What does the phrase "the largest and most stirring" refer to in Leaves of Grass?

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Whitman speaks of the "largest and most stirring" in his Preface to Leaves of Grass. Here is the quote:

The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem. In the history of the earth hitherto the largest and most stirring appear tame and orderly to their ampler largeness and...

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Whitman speaks of the "largest and most stirring" in his Preface to Leaves of Grass. Here is the quote:

The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem. In the history of the earth hitherto the largest and most stirring appear tame and orderly to their ampler largeness and stir.

What Whitman is saying is that the largest and most stirring [liveliest] nations that have existed in the history of the earth are nothing compared to the United States. The most wild and vigorous nations are "tame and orderly" compared to the U.S.

Whitman feels a life and energy pulsing through the United States that is like nothing else on earth that is or ever was. He believes we are a rich, large, active country composed of people from many nations all poured together, and that we are hospitable, willing to take "audacious" risks, and full of a boundless extravagance. Our vision of what we can become is large and expansive. This is a country of plenty, where nobody needs to be in want. The United States is, as well, large and stirring in its grasp of freedom, in its masses of people, and in its democratic principles.

In his poem, Whitman does his best to capture all the facets of the energy and potential of this new country, expressing an exuberant enthusiasm for his homeland. If America makes all other countries look tame in comparison to itself, this poem makes all other poems look tame as well.

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