Walt Whitman was born on Long Island, New York in 1819. He spent most of his early life in Brooklyn where he served as editor for a number of newspapers for brief periods. His first major work, Leaves of Grass, was published in 1855 and was subsequently published in nine enlarged editions throughout his lifetime. In 1862 in the midst of the Civil War, Whitman set out for the battlefield to find his wounded brother and continued to volunteer in hospitals throughout the length of the war. He died in 1892.
'I greet you at the beginning of a great career.' Letter from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Walt Whitman, 1855
'The most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed.' Ralph Waldo Emerson
'America's poet... He is America.' Ezra Pound
'If you are American, then Walt Whitman is your imaginative father and mother, even if, like myself, you have never composed a line of verse.' Harold Bloom, literary critic