Walt Whitman
Born in

West Hills, Huntington, Long Island, New York, The United States

May 31, 1819

Died

March 26, 1892

Gender

male

Books

About Walt Whitman

Walter Whitman was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and 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 a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War in addition to publishing his poetry. 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 he is usually labeled as either homosexual or bisexual, it is unclear if Whitman ever had a sexual relationship with another man. Whitman was concerned with politics throughout his life. He supported the Wilmot Proviso and opposed the extension of slavery generally, but did not believe in the abolitionist movement.

Quotes by Walt Whitman