Whitman, Walt(er)

Whitman, Walt(er)
born May 31, 1819, West Hills, Long Island, N.Y., U.S.
died March 26, 1892, Camden, N.J.

U.S. poet, journalist, and essayist.

Whitman lived in Brooklyn as a boy and left school at age 12. He went on to hold a great variety of jobs, including writing and editing for periodicals. His revolutionary poetry dealt with extremely private experiences (including sexuality) while celebrating the collective experience of an idealized democratic American life. His Leaves of Grass (1st ed., 1855), revised and much expanded in successive editions that incorporated his subsequent poetry, was too frank and unconventional to win wide acceptance in its day, but it was hailed by figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and exerted a strong influence on American and foreign literature. Written without rhyme or traditional metre, poems such as "I Sing the Body Electric" and "Song of Myself" assert the beauty of the human body, physical health, and sexuality; later editions included "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," and the elegies on Abraham Lincoln "O Captain! My Captain!" and "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd." Whitman served as a volunteer in Washington hospitals during the Civil War. The prose Democratic Vistas (1871) and Specimen Days & Collect (1882–83) drew on his wartime experiences and subsequent reflections. His powerful influence in the 20th century can be seen in the work of poets as diverse as Pablo Neruda, Fernando Pessoa, and Allen Ginsberg.

Walt Whitman, photograph by Mathew Brady.

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Whitman,Walt — Whitman, Walt. 1819 1892. American poet whose great work Leaves of Grass (first published 1855), written in unconventional meter and rhyme, celebrates the self, death as a process of life, universal brotherhood, and the greatness of democracy and …   Universalium

  • Whitman, Walt — ▪ American poet Introduction in full  Walter Whitman   born May 31, 1819, West Hills, Long Island, N.Y., U.S. died March 26, 1892, Camden, N.J.  American poet, journalist, and essayist whose verse collection Leaves of Grass is a landmark in the… …   Universalium

  • Whitman, Walt(er) — (31 may. 1819, West Hills, Long Island, N.Y., EE.UU.–26 mar. 1892, Camden, N.J.). Poeta, periodista y ensayista norteamericano. Whitman vivió en Brooklyn de niño y dejó la escuela a los doce años. Se dedicó entonces a una gran variedad de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Whitman, Walt — ► (1819 92) Poeta estadounidense. Sus perspectivas son siempre vastas y grandiosas, y supo plasmar como ningún otro el tumultuoso crecimiento de su país. Escribió en versos libres, de una manera directa y espontánea. En 1855 publicó su primera… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • WHITMAN, WALT —    the poet of Democracy, born in Long Island, U.S., of parents of mingled English and Dutch blood; was a large minded, warm hearted man, who led a restless life, and had more in him than he had training to unfold either in speech or act; a man… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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  • Walt Whitman — Nacimiento 31 de mayo de 1819 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Whitman — (Walt) (1819 1892) poète américain. Avec lyrisme, il a exprimé son amour de la vie libre, de la nature et de la démocratie dans Feuilles d herbe (1855), un recueil de poèmes qui a profondément influencé la poésie moderne américaine …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Walt Whitman — Infobox Writer name = Walt Whitman caption = Walt Whitman, 1887 birthdate = birth date|1819|5|31 birthplace = West Hills, Town of Huntington, Long Island, New York deathdate = death date and age|1892|3|26|1819|5|31 deathplace = Camden, New… …   Wikipedia

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