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Whitman, Walter (Walt)

Born: 1819 AD
Died: 1892 AD, at 72 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Poets


1819 - Born on May 31st in West Hills, New York. American poet, journalist, and essayist.

1831 - Whitman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and at age twelve began to learn the printing trade.

1846 - He moved from printing to teaching to journalism, becoming the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

1855 - Whitman published, anonymously and at his own expense, the first edition of Leaves of Grass.

1856 - Perhaps America's first self-publicist, Whitman allowed Emerson's letter to be published without the writer's permission in the New York Tribune and the second edition of Leaves of Grass.

1865 - Inspired by the death of President Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman wrote his famous dirge "O Captain! My Captain!".

         - The poem was published in the Saturday Press to immediate acclaim and was included in the poet's Sequel to Drum-Taps also published that year.

1892 - Died on March 26th.


Page last updated: 1:49pm, 15th Jun '07

  • "Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune."
  • "The eager and often inconsiderate appeals of reformers and revolutionists are indispensable to counterbalance the inertia and fossilism marking so large a part of human institutions."
  • "Love the earth and sun and animals,Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,Stand up for the stupid and crazy,Devote your income and labor to others...And your very flesh shall be a great poem."
  • "You must not know too much, or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and water-craft; a certain free margin, and even vagueness - perhaps ignorance, credulity - helps your enjoyment of these things..."
  • "I say that democracy can never prove itself beyond cavil, until it founds and luxuriantly grows its own forms of art, poems, schools, theology, displacing all that exists, or that has been produced anywhere in the past, under opposite influences."