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Fotografia dell'autore. Photo by G. Frank E. Pearsall<br>Courtesy of the <a href="">NYPL Digital Gallery</a><br>(image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Photo by G. Frank E. Pearsall
Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery
(image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

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Walt Whitman was born on Long Island and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the son of a carpenter. He left school when he was 11 years old to take a variety of jobs. By the time he was 15, Whitman was living on his own in New York City, working as a printer and writing short pieces for newspapers. He spent a few years teaching, but most of his work was either in journalism or politics. Gradually, Whitman became a regular contributor to a variety of Democratic Party newspapers and reviews, and early in his career established a rather eccentric way of life, spending a great deal of time walking the streets, absorbing life and talking with laborers. Extremely fond of the opera, he used his press pass to spend many evenings in the theater. In 1846, Whitman became editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, a leading Democratic newspaper. Two years later, he was fired for opposing the expansion of slavery into the west. Whitman's career as a poet began in 1885, with the publication of the first edition of his poetry collection, Leaves of Grass. The book was self-published (Whitman probably set some of the type himself), and despite his efforts to publicize it - including writing his own reviews - few people read it. One reader who did appreciate it was essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote a letter greeting Whitman at "the beginning of a great career." Whitman's poetry was unlike any verse that had ever been seen. Written without rhyme, in long, loose lines, filled with poetic lists and exclamations taken from Whitman's reading of the Bible, Homer, and Asian poets, these poems were totally unlike conventional poetry. Their subject matter, too, was unusual - the celebration of a free-spirited individualist whose love for all things and people seemed at times disturbingly sensual. In 1860, with the publication of the third edition on Leaves of Grass, Whitman alienated conventional thinkers and writers even more. When he went to Boston to meet Emerson, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, essayist Oliver Wendell Holmes, and poet James Russell Lowell, they all objected to the visit. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Whitman's attentions turned almost exclusively to that conflict. Some of the greatest poetry of his career, including Drum Taps (1865) and his magnificent elegy for President Abraham Lincoln, "When Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" (1865), was written during this period. In 1862, his brother George was wounded in battle, and Whitman went to Washington to nurse him. He continued as a hospital volunteer throughout the war, nursing other wounded soldiers and acting as a benevolent father-figure and confidant. Parts of his memoir Specimen Days (1882) record this period. After the war, Whitman stayed on in Washington, working as a government clerk and continuing to write. In 1873 he suffered a stroke and retired to Camden, New Jersey, where he lived as an invalid for the rest of his life. Ironically, his reputation began to grow during this period, as the public became more receptive to his poetic and personal eccentricities. Whitman tried to capture the spirit of America in a new poetic form. His poetry is rough, colloquial, sweeping in its vistas - a poetic equivalent of the vast land and its varied peoples. Critic Louis Untermeyer has written, "In spite of Whitman's perplexing mannerisms, the poems justify their boundless contradictions. They shake themselves free from rant and bombastic audacities and rise into the clear air of major poetry. Such poetry is not large but self-assured; it knows, as Whitman asserted, the amplitude of time and laughs at dissolution. It contains continents; it unfolds the new heaven and new earth of the Western world." American poetry has never been the same since Whitman tore it away from its formal and thematic constraints, and he is considered by virtually all critics today to be one of the greatest poets the country has ever produced. (Bowker Author Biography) — biografia da Foglie d'erba… (altro)
Foglie d'erba 9,527 copie, 74 recensioni
Leaves of Grass (1855 edition) 2,734 copie, 15 recensioni
The Complete Poems 1,261 copie, 5 recensioni
Whitman: Poetry and Prose 1,203 copie, 8 recensioni
Leaves of Grass (1891-92 Edition) 893 copie, 6 recensioni
Song of Myself 793 copie, 19 recensioni
Selected Poems [ed. Appelbaum] 533 copie, 2 recensioni
Leaves of Grass and Selected Prose 316 copie, 1 recensione
Foglie d'erba: scelta 272 copie, 3 recensioni
On the Beach at Night Alone 172 copie, 7 recensioni
Specimen Days 156 copie, 2 recensioni
Memoranda During the War 115 copie, 4 recensioni
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer 106 copie, 10 recensioni
Selected Poems [ed. Crasnow] 92 copie, 2 recensioni
Drum taps 85 copie
Leaves of Grass (1860 edition) 66 copie, 2 recensioni
I Hear America Singing 51 copie, 3 recensioni
A Choice of Whitman's Verse 51 copie, 1 recensione
Poetry for Kids: Walt Whitman 46 copie, 5 recensioni
Voyages 43 copie
Visioni democratiche 42 copie, 2 recensioni
The Whitman Reader 31 copie, 1 recensione
Nothing But Miracles 20 copie, 1 recensione
Walt Whitman 18 copie
November Boughs 11 copie, 3 recensioni
American Bard 11 copie
Cálamo 9 copie
Whitman 8 copie, 1 recensione
Overhead the Sun 8 copie, 1 recensione
Two prefaces 7 copie
Gresstrå 1 6 copie
Digte 5 copie
Rohulehed 2 copie
Two Rivulets 2 copie
La quercia 2 copie
CALAMO 1 copia
Kosmos 1 copia
Opere alese 1 copia
Three Poems 1 copia
diVersi 1 copia
FIJE BARI 1 copia
Paroles du Nouveau Monde 1 copia, 1 recensione
Drum Tabs 1 copia
Manahatta 1 copia
Canti scelti 1 copia
Eidolons 1 copia
Werke 1 copia
Poesías 1 copia
Lincoln 1 copia
Prose Works 1 copia
One Hundred and One Famous Poems (Collaboratore, alcune edizioni) 1,816 copie, 17 recensioni
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (Collaboratore) 1,156 copie, 9 recensioni
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (Collaboratore, alcune edizioni) 875 copie, 7 recensioni
The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry (Collaboratore) 567 copie, 3 recensioni
The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis (Collaboratore) 506 copie, 11 recensioni
Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books (Collaboratore) 490 copie, 1 recensione
A Treasury of the World's Best Loved Poems (Collaboratore) 488 copie, 4 recensioni
A Pocket Book of Modern Verse (Collaboratore, alcune edizioni) 421 copie, 1 recensione
Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography (Associated Name) 391 copie, 2 recensioni
The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology (Collaboratore) 367 copie, 3 recensioni
Ten Poems to Change Your Life (Collaboratore) 328 copie, 4 recensioni
Literature: The Human Experience (Collaboratore) 325 copie
Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out (Collaboratore) 316 copie, 7 recensioni
Writing New York: A Literary Anthology (Collaboratore) 263 copie, 4 recensioni
The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume 1 (Collaboratore, alcune edizioni) 246 copie
The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse (Collaboratore) 221 copie, 2 recensioni
The Civil War: The First Year Told By Those Who Lived It (Collaboratore) 219 copie, 1 recensione
A Treasury of Poetry for Young People (Collaboratore) 182 copie, 1 recensione
American Religious Poems: An Anthology (Collaboratore) 152 copie, 1 recensione
The Civil War: The Second Year Told By Those Who Lived It (Collaboratore) 151 copie, 1 recensione
Life in the Iron Mills [Bedford Cultural Editions] (Collaboratore) 135 copie, 2 recensioni
The Civil War: The Third Year Told by Those Who Lived It (Collaboratore) 126 copie, 1 recensione
A Comprehensive Anthology of American Poetry (Collaboratore) 125 copie, 2 recensioni
The Norton Book of Travel (Collaboratore) 107 copie, 1 recensione
The Standard Book of British and American Verse (Collaboratore) 104 copie, 1 recensione
Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? (Collaboratore) 91 copie, 5 recensioni
The Norton Book of Friendship (Collaboratore) 91 copie
Poets of the Civil War (Collaboratore) 88 copie, 1 recensione
The Ecopoetry Anthology (Collaboratore) 42 copie, 1 recensione
Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English, 1500-2001 (Collaboratore) 36 copie, 1 recensione
Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (Collaboratore) 36 copie, 2 recensioni
Strange Glory (Collaboratore) 22 copie
AQA Anthology (Autore, alcune edizioni) 19 copie
Racconti gialli (Autore) 19 copie
Ellery Queen's Poetic Justice (Collaboratore, alcune edizioni) 18 copie
The Mark of Zorro [1920 film] (Actor) 14 copie, 1 recensione
Trees: A Celebration (Collaboratore) 13 copie
American Poems 1779-1900 (Collaboratore) 11 copie
Mitt skattkammer. b.9 Gjennom tidene (Collaboratore) 9 copie
Men and Women: The Poetry of Love (Collaboratore) 7 copie
Onthebus No. 8 and 9 (Collaboratore) 6 copie
La poesía inglesa románticos y victorianos (Collaboratore) 4 copie, 1 recensione
A Gathering of Ghosts: A Treasury (Collaboratore) 4 copie
Great Poems from Chaucer to Whitman (Collaboratore) 3 copie
The Best of American Poetry [Audio] (Collaboratore) 1 copia
The California quarterly (Collaboratore, alcune edizioni) 1 copia

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Walter Whitman Jr. (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was controversial in his time, particularly his 1855 poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sensuality.

Born in Huntington on Long Island, Whitman resided in Brooklyn as a child and through much of his career. At the age of 11, he left formal schooling to go to work. Later, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, and a government clerk. Whitman's major poetry collection, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money and became well known. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death in 1892. During the American Civil War, he went to Washington, D.C. and worked in hospitals caring for the wounded. His poetry often focused on both loss and healing. On the death of Abraham Lincoln, whom Whitman greatly admired, he wrote his well known poems, "O Captain! My Captain!" and "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd", and gave a series of lectures. After a stroke towards the end of his life, Whitman moved to Camden, New Jersey, where his health further declined. When he died at the age of 72, his funeral was a public event.

Whitman's influence on poetry remains strong. Mary Whitall Smith Costelloe argued: "You cannot really understand America without Walt Whitman, without Leaves of Grass ... He has expressed that civilization, 'up to date,' as he would say, and no student of the philosophy of history can do without him." Modernist poet Ezra Pound called Whitman "America's poet ... He is America."
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Victorian Era Abroad: Q1: Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman in Club Read 2023

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