Author(s): Walt Whitman
When Walt Whitman self-published a collection of 12 poems entitled Leaves of Grass in 1855, he was an unknown, but ambitious, journalist from Long Island - by the time of his death he was beginning to be recognised as one of the most distinctive poetic voices of the modern world. His poetry, which he continually revised and republished over the course of his life, broke new ground in its treatment of the individual, eroticism, mortality and the trauma of the Civil War and created a new, unfamiliar yet unabashedly American, voice for his country and his fellow people.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) is considered to be one of the greatest American poets. His collection of twelve poems, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 and initially shocked the American public with its unfamiliar form and democratic stance. He was particularly in the public eye in his last nineteen years of life when English writers such as William Rossetti and Robert Stevenson contended that Americans did not fully appreciate him.