Walt Whitman was born in a rural village on Long Island N.Y. on May, 31 1819. He went to school to five to six years, although he received most of his education from the literature he read. His first jobs consisted of being a printer and a school teacher. At the age of 27 he became editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, dismissed two years later because he had radically liberal views. In the early 1850s he went back home to build houses with his father.
Emerson believed Whitman wrote for the complete person, one that is willing to listen to one self. Whittier, however, judged Whitmans work as loose, lurid, and impious. In 1855 the First edition of Leaves of Grass, this was classified as poetry of barbarism because it was radical, talking about things like sexuality, and it used exotic and vulgar language.
His songs were songs not only of occupations but of sex and the body. He sand of masturbation, the sexual organism and the sexual act; he was one of the first poets to write of the body electric, of female eroticism, homosexuality love, and the anguish of repressed desire.(text book page 2846)
He continued to revise this piece in the years 1856 and 1860. By the completion of Leaves of Grass it had 9 editions with more than 400 poems. In 1865 after working as a nurse in the Civil War he wrote Drum-Taps, he gathered in this into the fourth edition of Leaves of Grass. At 54 he suffered paralytic stroke and 19 years later he Died 19 years later in New Jersey. Whitman Became known in America as Great Gray Poet. Whitman gained more influence on America after his death. He was a modern man because he created his own rhythms using free verse.
Leaves of grass was probably his most instrumental writing consisting of over 400 poems and would eventually become the most popular book of poetry ever written. Whitman's style was romantic and sensitive at a time when the US Civil War raged across the land with all its brutality and suffering. He greatly loved America, nonetheless, volunteering to tend the wounded in Washington, D.C., and writing a popular tribute to Abraham Lincoln, "O. Captain! My Captain!" A favorite of presidents ever since, Whitman wrote poetry praising America and touting the virtues of democracy. He made a trip to Camden New Jersey a few days before his mothers death and stayed there for the remainder of his own life.
His poems are the used in todays school systems to teach the youth of the nation how to write romanticism properly and also how to use free verse in writing poetry. He developed the modern way to write poems in which are still used today. His book of poems Leaves of Grass is still said to be the best example of poetry to be found anywhere and for this you must attribute Whitman to be the best poet ever. He dedicated his life to his writings and because of it he became the best.