Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819-March 26, 1892) was an American literary legend and a follower of both transcendentalism and realism. His poetry in Leaves of Grass comprises some of the world's greatest literary work, and after being rejected by several publishers, Whitman used his own money to publish the collection. His poetry has earned him a reputation as a "poet of democracy." Whitman revised it several times and its content grew from 12 poems in the 1855 first edition to the 1892 "Death Bed" edition of nearly 400 poems. Materials added and subtracted parallel his passions and priorities over those forty years of life.