Walt Whitman

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"If you are an American, then Walt Whitman is your imaginative father and mother, even if, like myself, you have never composed a line of verse."
—Harold Bloom

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was an American poet probably best known for his revolutionary book Leaves of Grass. His work has elements of transcendentalism and humanism, and his poetry greatly influenced all the poets that came after him.

Also notable because of continuing debates about his sexuality and because of the mad love The Beat Generation had for him and his wandering ways.

You probably know him for his poem about Abraham Lincoln, "O Captain, My Captain".

Whitman was a fierce proponent of democracy and egalitarianism. He was known to ride the bus, sitting up front quoting Shakespeare to the driver.


Walt Whitman provides examples of the following tropes: