Walt Whitman (31 May, 1819 – 26 March, 1892) was an American journalist and essayists – I believe he also wrote a poem or two. Mr. Whitman is, of course, one of the most influential poets in the American catalog.
Fun Facts about Walt Whitman:
- Mr. Whitman was born in Huntington, Long Island.
- In addition to being a published poet, Mr. Whitman held jobs of a government clerk, teacher, and journalist.
- During the American Civil War Mr. Whitman worked part-time in the army paymaster’s office volunteered as a nurse. His essay “The Great Army of the Sick” which was published in 1863, talked about his experiences during that time.
- In 1855 Mr. Whitman published his notable poetry collection Leaves of Grass, using his own money.
- Leaves of Grass, a poetry collection, is a play on words in Mr. Whitman’s usual self-deprecating style. “Leaves” refers to sheets of paper, “grass” means things of little value. The intent of Leaves of Grass is more or less “Sheets of crap”.
- In a delicious irony, Mr. Whitman, who left school at age 11, and he became a great American poet, couldn’t believe that an uneducated English common could have wrote the great plays which are attributed to one William Shakespeare.
- One of Mr. Whitman’s fondest childhood memories was a celebration in his Long Island town in which Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette picked him up and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
- Bram Stoker was a lifelong pen pal of Mr. Whitman and found the basis for Count Dracula due to the poet’s masculinity.
- Some of the Mr. Whitman’s most notable fans include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Iggy Pop, Allen Ginsberg and President Bill Clinton (who gifted a copy of Leaves of Grass to Monica Lewinsky).
- During the public viewing of Mr. Whitman’s coffin, over 1,000 people visited in three hours and his coffin was barely visible due to all the flowers and wreaths.
Zohar – Man of la Book
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