Walt Whitman was a nineteenth century poet, who successfully introduced a new kind of poetry to American public. Walt Whitman, influenced by his love of his country and by the time period, wrote poetry about America during the mid to late 1800 s. Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819. He was born in West Hills, Long Island, New York, which was near Huntington, New York.
He was the second child in the family. He had eight brothers and sisters. His father was working as a carpenter and his mother was a homemaker. At the age of four, Walt Whitman s family had moved to Brooklyn, New York.
In Brooklyn, he went to public school for six years. In 1835 he returned to Long Island and taught in country schools. In 1838 he began editing newspaper Long Islander and he finished the job in 1839. After that job, he was working as printer.
At the same time as printer s job, he was also working as a journalist. During his time in New York he was going to the theaters, operas and libraries and he enjoyed all of that very much. After visiting New Orleans, La. , he came back to Brooklyn and tried to start a Free-Soil newspaper. After spending several years on different jobs, he began writing poetry. His unusual dress and bearded face became his own trademark.
In 1848, Walt Whitman began working on Leaves of Grass. No one would publish his poems, because they were unlike the other things being published at that time. So in 1855, he published it himself. The Leaves of Grass was censored and suppressed many times. Walt Whitman was working on and revising Leaves of Grass all his life. In one of his poems Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, he talks about joining all ferry passengers.
His another poem Song of Myself, talks about joyful experiences he had in his life. On Abraham Lincoln s death, he wrote a poem called O Captain! My Captain! . But unlike the other poems, poem O Captain! My Captain! differs in rhythm and rhyme. Every one of his poem contained some kind of the symbols. For example: He describes grass as the babe of vegetation. At last in 1881, he organized his poems up to his satisfaction, but he was still adding new poems, to Leaves of Grass, until the final version of 1892.
All of his poems were edited in 1965 by Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley into book called Reader s Edition of Leaves of Grass. At the age of 42, during the civil war, Walt Whitman traveled to Washington D. C.
to volunteer in military hospitals. He began traveling beyond Mississippi at old age. Until 1873, Walt Whitman worked in government department, when he suffered a stroke. So his last twenty years, he was semi invalid from a stroke he suffered. In 1873, he came to Camden to live there with his brother George.
11 years later, in 1884 he bought his own house. In his house he was writing and changing Leaves of Grass. He died on March 26, 1892 at the age of 72. Almost all of Walt Whitman s poems were about love to Americans or to his country, which is America. For example in the poem A promise to California, he says For I know very well that I and robust love belong among you, inland and along the Western Sea, there he shows love to the Western United States and Pacific Ocean. Another example of love, which is show to a woman is in the poem Fast Anchor d, Eternal, O Love, he says I ascend-A float in the regions of your love, there he says that he can t live without her love.
In some of the other poems he has hidden lines with love to everything, but those not many people can see. In the poem Fast Anchor d, Eternal, O Love, Walt Whitman talks about the woman he loves. He tells readers what he thinks of her, how much she is worth to him, and how their love will live forever. In one of his poems about his country A promise to California, he talks about his love to all Western United States places like Pastoral Plains, Oregon, and Pacific Ocean.
He also says that everyone should love West because of all beautiful places which are there. His last words in that poem is that he will always have those places in his heart. In the poem One s Self I Sing, he talks about how being by himself has it s pluses and minuses. He says word democratic in a different language, to show how it devices in two words separate person. He also says that some people can t live without talking to other people, but folks who live separate can do it. In the other poem named As I Ponder d in Silence, Walt Whitman talks about the thoughts he gets when there s complete silence around his house.
In his mind he returns to his poems. Reads them in his mind. Few moments later, he thinks about beauty, age and power. He also thinks about God, wars and soldiers on those wars. In almost all of those four poems, he talks of love to either American people or his country. Walt Whitman was one of the greatest poets of the 19 th century.
He lived most of his life in New York State, never traveled in the young age farther than Mississippi River. After the stroke he suffered he went down to live in Camden, NJ, where he lived the rest of his life. During his life he published only one book with poems, which he changed every time he felt like it needed that. That book had more than 100 poems in it. He died as a poet, which successfully introduced new kind of poetry.