Walt Whitman | Biography | Books | Awards

Walt Whitman | Biography | Books | Awards

Walt Whitman, May 31, 1819, is also the birth date of the famous poet , also known as Poetical Walt Whitman, who was born in West Hills, Long Island and raised in Brooklyn. While a young child, he also became a journeyman printing printer.  Also studied anatomy and physiology at Bowood High School in Brooklyn, New York. He also joined the army and served in the Civil War.

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About Walt Whitman

Several poets like Washington Irving, John Keats and Emily Dickinson influenced Walt. Walt Whitman famous poems in American literature including “The Soft Machine,” “Odyssey”, and “My Last Duchess.” These poems are still seen as important landmarks of our civilization, inspiring generations to fight for freedom and democracy. In  book “The Collected Poems of Walt Whitman,” his daughter Poppy anonymously writes about her father. And elaborates his life’s lessons on courage, love and individuality. Poppy also reveals that her Poppy is not her birth father, but just one of her nicknames.

Walt Whitman Biography

Walt Whitman also published many controversial poems in his lifetime. They dealt with the racism and sexism of America at that time. Some of his poems include “The Confessions of Marriage,” “NSF – Not So Much a Woman’s Disease”, and “The Overrated Man.” Poetical Walt Whitman also wrote several influential musical pieces, which included “Irene,” “God Save the Wolf,” “Canon in D,” “God Save the Dog”, and “I Walk in White Satin.”

What is Walt Whitman best known for?

It’s a question that has baffled people of many years since Walt Whitman wrote over a hundred poems and at the same time was also an amazing Poet, which earned him money and attracted admirers such as James Joyce. Unlike the most poets before him, Whitman fame was wholly deserving.  People who actually saw his poetry, appreciated it. What is Walt Whitman best known for? To the first degree, it must be his being one of the most original poets to have written, and at the same time, his being the very first poet to use an ‘American’ tone in his poem. He took this very important step to establish his own personal identity, but in doing so, he also established his place amongst his contemporaries.

He took great pains to ensure that his writings didn’t encroach into too much controversy or debate.  And took care for the questions that might account him for his decisions later.

Though perhaps Walt Whitman breakout work ‘Leaves of Paradise’, in which he gives a detailed description of his love affair with an Indian princess, may seem to offer the most concise answer, there has often been much speculation as to what exactly he may have meant by the phrase “The leaves of Paradise” and how he was thinking of it when he wrote this beautiful masterpiece. It is easy enough to say that the famous lines depict the way a man feels when he is falling in love, but what is harder to know is whether he meant this in the context of Walt Whitman wife or whether his thoughts were more towards a separation.

America’s most beloved poet

The poet remains one of America’s most beloved poets.  His poetry continues to be an inspiration even today. After all, who knows exactly when Walt Whitman would have died? Some speculate that he may have died of natural causes, while others think he may have written those immortal words in response to the Civil War.

Poems:

  • ‘I Stand Tired When I Am Sitting On The Ground And Thinking Of You’,
  • ‘I Only Imagine That Your Heart Has Been Dreaming Of Me’
  • ‘You Are A Rock And A Hard Land’, 

All of them are not too obscure.

Why is Walt Whitman so important?

Why is Walt Whitman so important? Because he dared to break the rules of his day and speak his mind–and to tell those who wouldn’t listen. He did not allow the laws of his time to keep him from being who he was. No, he broke them and made them better. Poets before him spoke of gods and goddesses. But not a single one of them ever questioned their existence or powers. Or if those powers were good or bad.  But instead pointed to the realities that they faced and created in the course of their lives.

A Secular Pilgrimage

When you examine the landscape of American literature after the Civil War, you’ll see a sea of books that all claim to tell the story of American exceptionalism. But not one of them–at least none I’ve read–cares even to suggest that being an exceptional American really means anything other than what it is today. The first edition of Leaves of Fire and its follow up edition, Walt Whitman: A Secular Pilgrimage, published  in 1869  New York. W.W. Yeoman was publisher. 

 

What did Walt Whitman believe in?

American essayist and poet Walt Whitman beliefs are probably best known in his two major poems,” Leaves of Paradise” and “The Poets,” but he also had considerable length in him, including “The Trees of a Thousand Hills.” Poet and reporter Walt Whitman often wrote about the conditions of his native Illinois, particularly in his poems. As a young man, he had a arrest while writing. Also, spent several months in jail awaiting trial. He escaped once but  recaptured soon.

Why was Leaves of Grass so controversial?

Well, like most poems by American poet Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass received wide acclaim both during and after his life. In fact, one of the most well-known biographies of Poetry, Leaves of Paradise. It is itself an epic poem. Also, earned Walt Whitman his Nobel Prize. While the poem may be older than the other famous American poets such as John Keats and Mark Twain, the content remains intact for all to enjoy. Leaves of Grass, a classic example of the American Romantic Poetry movement.  It centered on the theme of love and the idea of freedom.

Legacy of Leaves of Grass

However, controversial or not, the legacy of Leaves of Grass still lives on today. It has collected and made available to readers again by various poets, including Walt Whitman himself. A new edition of Leaves of Grass released in 2021, bringing it to readers’ attention once again. The new edition presents the poem in a more contemporary format while preserving its original form. In the original edition, poems grouped in the “chyme” order in the new edition. Poets who enjoyed the beauty and appeal of Leaves of Grass would probably enjoy this arrangement.  The groupings are very similar to those used by the older editions of the poem.

Leaves of Grass

In the new Leaves of Grass some poems were not in the first edition. That was quite interesting. The poems that are not included in the first edition were, in fact, mostly identical to poems that were already published in the “lectic” style of American poetry prior to the time when Leaves of Grass was published. However, the new “chyme” format eliminates many of the poems that didn’t have a place in the public’s eye at the time of publication. This makes the new edition an attractive option for those who love the poems but want to have a few that is truly New York City original in the collection. This modern edition does a fine job of presenting a few select poems that were originally published while making certain that others from the poet’s earlier writings are included.

 

Reference: Wikipedia

 

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