Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

Walter "Walt" Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality.

Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and—in addition to publishing his poetry—was a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans (1842). Whitman's major work, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death in 1892. After a stroke towards the end of his life, he moved to Camden, New Jersey, where his health further declined. He died at age 72 and his funeral became a public spectacle.

Whitman's sexuality is often discussed alongside his poetry. Though biographers continue to debate his sexuality, he is usually described as either homosexual or bisexual in his feelings and attractions. However, there is disagreement among biographers as to whether Whitman had actual sexual experiences with men. Whitman was concerned with politics throughout his life. He supported the Wilmot Proviso and opposed the extension of slavery generally. His poetry presented an egalitarian view of the races, and at one point he called for the abolition of slavery, but later he saw the abolitionist movement as a threat to democracy.

Read more about Walt WhitmanWriting, Legacy and Influence, Works

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... Gardner's 2 Volume Compendium on Walt Whitman, Whitman's Code A New Bible has been selected for serialization by the literary website, AnotherAmerica.org ... Whitman was both a public persona "Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son," and a retiring private one ... The basis for Whitman's Code A New Bible was another Whitman Code ...
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... and South Huntington, two former segments of NY 110, both named Old Walt Whitman Road, run parallel to the route along the west side of the road ... The northern segment in South Huntington is home to the Walt Whitman Birthplace ... The Melville section of Walt Whitman Road goes from what is now Duryea Road to a dead end between Old Country Road and the Northern State Parkway ...
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... The Walt Whitman Speech and Debate Team was recognized as one of the top 5 in the nation by both the Catholic Forensics League and the National Forensics League in the spring of ... In the 2009 Catholic Forensics League National Championship, a Walt Whitman student team was the runner-up in three different forensics categories ... In 2010, Walt Whitman broke historical records by qualifying more than 20 debaters to the prestigious Tournament of Champions ...

Famous quotes by walt whitman:

    I see before me now a traveling army halting,
    Below a fertile valley spread, with barns and the orchards of summer,
    Behind, the terraced sides of a mountain, abrupt, in places rising high,
    Walt Whitman (1819–1892)

    Let that which stood in front go behind,
    Let that which was behind advance to the front,
    Let bigots, fools, unclean persons, offer new propositions,
    Let the old propositions be postponed.
    Walt Whitman (1819–1892)

    Have you heard that it was good to gain the day?
    I also say it is good to fall, battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.
    Walt Whitman (1819–1892)

    The only dance masters I could have were Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Walt Whitman and Nietzsche.
    Isadora Duncan (1878–1927)

    Was seiz’d by the spirit that trails in the lines underfoot,
    The rim, the sediment that stands for all the water and all the land
    of the globe.

    Fascinated, my eyes reverting from the south, dropt, to follow those slender windrows,
    Chaff, straw, splinters of wood, weeds, and the sea-gluten,
    Scum, scales from shining rocks, leaves of salt-lettuce, left by the tide,
    Walt Whitman (1819–1892)