Background info on walt whitman

Whitman grew up in Brooklyn, New York , and at age twelve began to learn the printing trade.

Early life

Over time he moved from printing to teaching to journalism, becoming the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle External in He began experimenting with a new form of poetry, revolutionary at the time, free of a regular rhythm or rhyme scheme that has come to be known as free verse. In , Whitman published, anonymously and at his own expense, the first edition of Leaves of Grass. Revolutionary too was the content of his poems celebrating the human body and the common man.

Whitman would spend the rest of his life revising and enlarging Leaves of Grass ; the ninth edition appeared in , the year of his death. In these sometimes homemade or adapted notebooks, the poet jotted down random thoughts in prose and expressions in poetry.

Biography of Walt Whitman, American Poet

On page 65 and pages 68 through 72 Whitman breaks off from prose ruminations and speaks—perhaps for the first time—in the revolutionary verse form that he created. In his spare time, he visited wounded soldiers in hospitals. But Whitman added a poetic touch, noting that a peculiar cloud had appeared over Lincoln that day:.

Whitman saw significance in the odd weather and speculated that it was a profound omen of some sort. Within weeks, Lincoln would be dead, killed by an assassin who also happened to be in the crowd at the second inauguration.

By the end of the Civil War, Whitman had found a comfortable job working as a clerk in a government office in Washington. With the intercession of friends, Whitman got another federal job, this time serving as a clerk in the Department of Justice. He remained in government work until , when ill health led him to resign.

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Walt Whitman

Plagued by health problems, Whitman moved to Camden, New Jersey, in the mids. When he died on March 26, , the news of his death was widely reported. The San Francisco Call , in an obituary published on the front page of the March 27, , paper, wrote:. Whitman is now celebrated as one of the country's greatest poets, and selections from "Leaves of Grass" are widely taught in schools and universities.

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  • Walt Whitman.
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  • Whitman, Walt (), poet | American National Biography.

Whitman, Walt. In his last years Whitman received the respect due a great literary figure and personality.


  • Walt Whitman Biography | Biography Online.
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He died on March 26, , in Camden, New Jersey. Leaves of Grass has been widely translated, and Whitman's reputation is now worldwide. Allen, Gay Wilson.

Song of Myself by Walt Whitman (1892 Version) [Audiobook] - Performed by Frank Marcopolos

New York: Macmillan, Reprint, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Loving, Jerome. Walt Whitman: The Song of Himself. Berkeley: University of California Press, Reef, Catherine. New York: Clarion Books, Reynolds, David S.

Who Was Walt Whitman?

New York: Knopf, Toggle navigation. First edition of Leaves of Grass Not much is known of Whitman's literary activities that can account for his sudden transformation change from journalist and hack writer into revolutionary poet. Second edition of Leaves of Grass For the second edition of Leaves of Grass , Whitman added twenty new poems to his original twelve. Whitman and the Civil War Soon after the outbreak of the Civil War —65; a war between regions of the United States in which Northern forces clashed with those of the South , Whitman went to Virginia to search for his brother George, reported wounded in action.

Later career Following the Civil War and the publication of the fourth edition, Whitman's poetry became increasingly preoccupied with themes relating to the soul, death, and immortality living forever. User Contributions:. Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: Name:.

Walt Whitman - Wikipedia

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