AMERICA’S GREAT POET WALT WHITMAN (Post No.5512)

Compiled by London Swaminathan

 
swami_48@yahoo.com
Date: 6 October 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –14-53 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5512

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.

 

Walt Whitman
American poet and journalist
Born May 31,1819
Died March 26,1892
Age at death 72

 

xxx

Publications
1855 Leaves of Grass
1865 Drum Taps
1865-86 Sequel to Drum Taps
1871 Democratic Vistas
1875 Memoranda during the War
1882 Specimen Days and Collect

Walt Whitman was America’s greatest 19th century poet. He wrote one of the finest works of American literature, the poetry collection Leaves of Grass

Whitman was born in West Hills, Long Island and grew up in Brooklyn. His father was a Quaker carpenter. As a youth Whitman attended rural schools, trained to be a printer, and spent his summers on Long Island, where he developed a love of nature that was to dominate his writing.

For most of his life Whitman worked as a journalist. He began working on newspapers in New York, but as a young man he traveled to New Orleans to work on a paper there and saw the huge size and diversity of America for the first time. Back in New York he witnessed the rapid growth of the city as hundreds of thousands of people arrived from all over the world to make a better life. Whitman wanted to write a new kind of poetry that Could express his excitement at this amazing mix of people and their hopes for freedom.

The first edition of Leaves of Grass was published at Whitman s own expense when he was 36– no publisher would accept his poems because they were so unusual. They are celebrations of nature, of the individual, of freedom and of the kinship of all humanity. He was widely criticised for his use of blank verse and his openness about sexuality.

During the American civil war Whitman worked as a nurse. After the war he published Drum Taps— Poems about his experience of war— and one of his most famous poems O Captain! My Captain! About the death of President Abraham Lincoln.

Walt Whitman’s preface to his most famous poem ‘Leaves of Grass’ is an echo of Indian thoughts. Each of his advice is found in Tamil or Sanskrit literature.

Love the earth and sun in the Atharva Veda.

Give alms to everyone is in Manu smrti, Tamil poetess Avvaiyar’s aphorisms.

Devote your income and labour to others is in the Isavasyopanishad and Bhagavad Gita

Have patience is in Mahabharata and Tirukkural (Tamil)

Take off your hat to anyone is in Sanskrit Subhasitas.

Reexamine what you have been told in school is in Tirukkural

Dismiss what insults your soul is in philosophical teachings in Hindu books.

xxx

 

Following two anecdotes are from my previous posts

 

Great man Walt Whitman
When a baby in a crowded Washington horse car was screaming, Walt Whitman took it from its mother, into his own arms; the infant stared at him a long time, then snuggled against him and fell asleep. Presently the conductor got off the car to get his supper, and Whitman acted as conductor the rest of the trip, still holding the sleeping baby.

Xxx

INGERSOLL’S VISIT

On Ingersoll’s last visit to Walt Whitman, — to whom he was bountiful – he said, “Walt, the mistake of your life was that you did not marry. There ought to be a woman here,” he added, looking around at the poor chaotic room. (Ingersoll’s address at the funeral of Walt Whitman was the grandest and most impressive utterance of that kind which I have ever heard.)

xxx subham xxx

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