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Walt Whitman's Life And Career Path

819 words - 4 pages

Born on May 31, 1819 in West Hills, Long Island, New York; Walter Whitman is considered one of the most influential poets in America. He is the second child of Walter and Louisa Whitman’s eight children. Walter was given the nickname Walt to distinguish him from his father. Walter started his life well off but had to sell his farmland; leaving the family struggling to regain some of their previous wealth. Walt often describes his childhood as nomadic and unhappy since he was being moved around for work opportunities for his father.
By the age of eleven Walt was pulled out of school to help bring in some income for his family. His first job was as an apprentice at a Long Island Patriot ...view middle of the document...

It was not until the mid-1840’s that Whitman founded his own weekly newspaper and continued to write. Still skipping from job to job he found himself being fired and shunned for his political views. With no way to write about his beliefs he turned to a more subtle way of expressing himself, poetry. In 1865 his book Leaves of Grass was published, containing twelve poems inside. The literature celebrated friendship, talked about democracy, showed that the body and soul were to be praised, and talked about nature. Although these poems did not get much recognition while he was alive, they did catch the eye of a very important person. Ralph Waldo Emerson fell in love with Whitman’s style, he himself said that the original Leaves of Grass was “the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed.”
Whitman’s poems were unlike anything that had been written before. He generally wrote in prose-like form and used unexpected imagery and symbols; some even say he is the father of free verse. Walt openly wrote about sexuality and death, a reason why many people were not originally satisfied with his work. Some of his most famous poems are “O Captain! My Captain!”, “I Hear America Singing”, and “Poets to Come”. “O...

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