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Walter Whitman(1819-05-31)May 31, 1819West Hills, New York, U.S.
March 26, 1892(1892-03-26) (aged 72)Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
Poet, essayist, journalist
May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892
Walt Whitman was an American poet, journalist, and essayist whose verse collection Leaves of Grass, first published in 1855, is a landmark in the history of American literature.
“Calamus”, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”, “Democratic Vistas”, “Drum-Taps”, “I Sing the Body Electric”, “O Captain! My Captain!”, “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking”, “Sequel to Drum-Taps”, “Song of Myself”, “Specimen Days & Collect”, “Starting from Paumanok”
Subjects of Whitman's poetry included slavery, race, religion, and sexuality. These were topics that were important to ordinary people, even if his ideas on these subjects were different from commonly held ones, and the fact that he wrote about them in first person made them even more meaningful.
Whitman's work broke the boundaries of poetic form and is generally prose-like. Its signature style deviates from the course set by his predecessors and includes "idiosyncratic treatment of the body and the soul as well as of the self and the other." It uses unusual images and symbols, including rotting leaves, tufts of straw, and debris. Whitman openly wrote about death and sexuality, including prostitution. He is often labeled the father of free verse,
Walt Whitman’s poetry was innovative for its verse style and for the way it challenged traditional narratives. He championed the individual soul over social conventions, presenting himself as a rough and free spirit. His poetry has continued to resonate with new generations of Americans, and he is considered a symbol of American democracy.
“What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.”
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.”
“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough”
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