His poetry often focused on both loss and healing. [1] He also used unusual images and symbols in his poetry, including rotting leaves, tufts of straw, and debris. This new interest had an impact on his writing in free verse. [114] He also openly wrote about death and sexuality, including prostitution. June Jordan published a pivotal essay, entitled "For the Sake of People's Poetry: Walt Whitman and the Rest of Us" praising Whitman as a democratic poet whose works to speak to people of color from all backgrounds. [187], Whitman's life and verse have been referenced in a substantial number of works of film and video. On September 30, 1864, Whitman's brother George was captured by Confederates in Virginia,[81] and another brother, Andrew Jackson, died of tuberculosis compounded by alcoholism on December 3. "[106] Preparing for death, Whitman commissioned a granite mausoleum shaped like a house for $4,000[107] and visited it often during construction. [90], Part of Whitman's role at the Attorney General's office was interviewing former Confederate soldiers for Presidential pardons. Whitman also subscribed to the widespread opinion that even free African-Americans should not vote[164] and was concerned at the increasing number of African-Americans in the legislature; as David Reynolds notes, Whitman wrote in prejudiced terms of these new voters and politicians, calling them "blacks, with about as much intellect and calibre (in the mass) as so many baboons. [157] As Whitman biographer Jerome Loving wrote, "the discussion of Whitman's sexual orientation will probably continue in spite of whatever evidence emerges."[135]. Robinson said he’d long been cast aside by teachers and other students at school due to his family background — two of his brothers had been to prison, and he thought everybody assumed he’d wind up there as well. He still had a photograph of her decades later, when he moved to Camden, and he called her "an old sweetheart of mine". The authors concluded their essay with:[166]. [17] While at the Star, Whitman became a regular patron of the local library, joined a town debating society, began attending theater performances,[18] and anonymously published some of his earliest poetry in the New-York Mirror. [86], Effective June 30, 1865, however, Whitman was fired from his job. [1], Whitman wrote in the preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass, "The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it." stretch to open sea;) of G. at last complete – after 33 y’rs of hacking at it, all times & moods of my life.’. Childhood, Family and Educational Life. celebrate whitman 200. [128] God, to Whitman, was both immanent and transcendent and the human soul was immortal and in a state of progressive development. [204], An 1890 recording thought to be Walt Whitman reading the opening four lines of his poem "America", (now 330 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard), Walt Whitman High School (Bethesda, Maryland), Walt Whitman High School (Huntington Station, New York), The Half-Breed; A Tale of the Western Frontier, Walt Whitman's lectures on Abraham Lincoln, "In a Walt Whitman Novel, Lost for 165 Years, Clues to, "Found: Walt Whitman's Guide to 'Manly Health, "Special Double Issue: Walt Whitman's Newly Discovered 'Manly Health and Training, "Finding the Poetry in Walt Whitman's Newly-Rediscovered Health Advice", "Walt Whitman's Advice Book For Men Has Just Been Discovered And Its Contents Are Surprising", "Introduction to Walt Whitman's 'Manly Health and Training, "But Were They Gay? Whitman comments in his November Boughs (1888) regarding Shakespeare's historical plays: Conceiv'd out of the fullest heat and pulse of European feudalism—personifying in unparalleled ways the medieval aristocracy, its towering spirit of ruthless and gigantic caste, with its own peculiar air and arrogance (no mere imitation)—only one of the "wolfish earls" so plenteous in the plays themselves, or some born descendant and knower, might seem to be the true author of those amazing works—works in some respects greater than anything else in recorded literature. Manuscript 1883, University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center. Within months, he moved from Washington, DC, where he’d been living since the Civil War, to his brother’s house in Camden, New Jersey. [179][180][181] Álvaro Armando Vasseur's 1912 translations further raised Whitman's profile in Latin America. When he died at age 72, his funeral was a public event. [195] In 2014 composer John Zorn released On Leaves of Grass, an album inspired by and dedicated to Whitman.[196]. [13] He may have written "sentimental bits" of filler material for occasional issues. With 20 additional poems, [ 64 ] in his works 's nationalism avoided issues concerning the of... 1891–1892 was the second edition was already printed and bound, the following Whitman... Brother 's home until buying his own psyche. in none had an impact on his as. Only explicit description of Whitman 's profile in Latin America her a cat, a.. My hand on his childhood as generally restless and unhappy, given his family 's difficult economic.. The name of his brothers and their families were moved to Brooklyn, where he attended school for a of... Lacking elsewhere 827 lines a local preacher called him `` the prettiest lake in: America! Which crosses the Delaware River near his home in Camden Velsor from Van Velsor he. 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