It’s the third week of classes and everyone is starting to get back into their own schedule of working. For those who recently just moved to the Big Apple, or moved back, many authors have a lot to say about it. However, Walt Whitman, a past resident of Long Island and Brooklyn, has something unique to say about the place that most of us are calling “home”.
“There is no place like it, no place with an atom of its glory, pride, and exultancy. It lays its hand upon a man’s bowels; he grows drunk with ecstasy; he grows young and full of glory, he feels that he can never die.” — Walt Whitman
Whitman was a poet, having published his first collection of poetry titled Leaves of Grass in 1855. He was obsessed with this first collection of poetry and would continue to edit it multiple times until his death in 1892. There were at least six different editions of this collection that have been documented. Whitman would go on to write many more collections of poetry including Drum-Taps (1865) and Memoranda During the War (1876). He was known for his “unnerving” subject matter in his works and his blatant disregard for the standard way one would write poetry during the time.
“Poetry (like a grand personality) is a growth of many generations — many rare combinations. To have great poets, there must be great audiences too.”
Whitman was a teacher, a writer, an editor within the span of a couple of years. He never settled down enough to keep one job for long. During the Civil War, he worked as a freelance journalist while visiting veterans in the New York hospitals.
“It is a beautiful truth that all men contain something of the artist in them. And perhaps it is the case that the greatest artists live and die, the world and themselves alike ignorant what they possess.”