Author(s): Walt Whitman
In 1855 Walt Whitman published his first collection of poetry, Leaves of Grass. The volume received great praise from leading Transcendentalist poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. This encouraged what would become a lifelong project as Whitman expanded and rewrote the volume until his death in 1892. Whitman's innovative use of free verse and the quotidian achieved his aim of reaching out to the everyday American. This edition, based on the earliest published version of 1855, features Whitman's most famous poem 'Song of Myself', an American epic inspired by his personal experiences.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) is regarded as one of America's most important nineteenth-century poets. Born in Long Island, Whitman grew up in Brooklyn and received a limited formal education. He adopted many professions in his lifetime including printer, essayist, journalist and school teacher. As early as 1850, Whitman turned his hand to poetry and in 1855 he self-published his greatest work, Leaves of Grass.