Interesting Facts About Walt Whitman

This is a list of 15 very interesting facts about American poet Walt Whitman. I hope you enjoy the facts!

15. Walt Whitman was an American poet whose verse collection Leaves of Grass is a landmark in the history of American literature.

14. Born in Long Island to a Quaker carpenter on May 31, 1819, Walter Whitman was the second of nine children.

13. Walt Whitman ate four raw eggs for breakfast every day for the last 20 years of his life.

12. Whitman is a great self-promoter who refers to himself as the “American Bard at Last.”

11. Largely self-taught, Walt Whitman was living in New York by age 14, supporting himself by learning to set type.

10. He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works.

9. After being an apprentice for a year and learning the printing trade at “Long Island Patriot” he worked first for a Worthington’s printing house, then as a compositor on “Long Island Star”, then moved to work in New York but the great fire in the printing district effectively ruined the printing industry on 12 August 1836 so he found himself unemployed and then turned to teaching on Long Island – at East Norwich, Hempstead, Babylon, Long Swamp, and Smithtown.

8. His noted works include Franklin Evans (1842), Leaves of Grass (1855), Drum-Taps (1865) and Democratic Vistas (1871).

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7. Walt briefly worked for the Department of Internal Affairs, until his supervisor caught him lazily scribbling poems. The supervisor wasn’t necessarily angry about Whitman wasting time – and we don’t know exactly what the poems were like – but what got him fired was the supposedly “obscene content.”

6. His father struggled through a series of attempts to recoup some of that earlier wealth, as a farmer, carpenter and real estate speculator.

5. He admired the works of Homer, Dante and Shakespeare.

4. After a stroke towards the end of his life, he moved to Camden, New Jersey where his health further declined. He died at age 72 and his funeral became a public spectacle.

3. Whitman sees himself as the voice of America. He claims to be a common man who has the same feelings as all Americans. Whitman is the poet of everything American: the good, the bad, the ugly, the cultured east, wild west, south, and the Eskimo in the canoe.

2. Because his brother George was wounded during the Civil War, Whitman became a nurse, spending most of his meager finances and time helping to heal the wounded.

1. Though biographers continue to debate his sexuality, he is usually described as either homosexual or bisexual in his feelings and attractions.

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