Walt Whitman was an American poet and journalist. Whitman came from a family of nine children, and was raised in Brooklyn and Long Island during the 1820s to the 1830s. Whitman taught himself to read and fell in love with literature when he was 12 years old after learning printer’s trade. Whitman worked as a printer in New York until his work district burnt down. When he was 17, he began his career as a teacher until 1848, which was when he started his full-time journalism career. He was an editor for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, but was fired for supporting the antislavery faction of the Democratic Party.
On his own, Whitman printed and sold Leaves of Grass, anonymously. It was his first work and though it went unappreciated, Ralph Emerson called it ” the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom ” America had seen yet. It’s the book that Whitman is most known for. He made constant revisions to it until finally finishing it in 1881. Whitman used it to express his own personality into his writing, something that majority of writers didn’t do. Whitman displayed his belief that poetry is a form of wisdom for mankind through his verses. Whitman used his book to reflect American life for the middle class and the poor.
People like Walt Whitman because his work is untraditional and open. He used his work to discuss real world scenarios and circumstances.He wrote poems to preach about equality and to talk about the lives of everyday Americans. It made people feel like their was a writer that identify with them. He changed the very style of poetry and though his work is old, it’s still relevant to today’s time.
1. “Walt Whitman”, Poet|Academy of American Poets, https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/walt-whitman
2. “Walt Whitman”, Biography & Facts, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Walt-Whitman
3. “Walt Whitman”, How Walt Whitman Changed The World of Poetry & What You Can Learn From It, https://www.neboagency.com/blog/lesson-walt-whitman-audacity/