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Whitman's uniquely revealing impressions of the people, places, and events of his time.
WALT WHITMAN (1819-1892), perhaps the most influential poet in American history, was born on Long Island but raised in Brooklyn, New York. Serving at various times as a printer's devil, journeyman compositor, itinerant schoolteacher, newspaper editor, and unofficial nurse to Northern and Southern soldiers during the Civil War, he acquired a broad view of American life, central to his identity as a poet. His "American epic" Leaves of Grass-though initially controversial for its frank depiction of sexuality-earned him the title of the father of free verse. He continued to edit and reprint Leaves of Grass up until his death, in addition to writing new works of poetry and Democratic Vistas, a work of comparative politics.