Category Archives: May
Born and raised on Long Island, Walt Whitman would grow to become one of America’s most important poets. He realized his passion for the written word as a young printing assistant. A lover of classic literature, he became a teacher and a journalist, beginning his own papers in New York and New Orleans. During the Civil War, he supported the Free Soil Movement and treated wounded Union soldiers in Washington, DC. Throughout his experiences, he composed heartfelt, expressive poetry that were first published in 1855’s Leaves of Grass. This collection became the cornerstone of his work, and was republished continuously to include later pieces. Although he received royalties from his book and a regular salary, Whitman lived modestly, collecting donations for the wounded and infirm. While many in his time considered Leaves of Grass offensive and vulgar, today it is lauded as one of the finest works in the English language.
Why do you think Whitman lived so simply?