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Walt Whitman

CCGPS Unit 3 Walt Whitman, Civil War and post-war America, Realist Literature, Westward Expansion
by

larisa foster

on 19 October 2015

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Transcript of Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
America's Poet
Realism & the Civil War
After the War
and
Westward Expansion
Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
May 31, 1819-March 26, 1892
worked as an editor for several papers before self-publishing his first collection of poems
Leaves of Grass
in 1855 which he hoped would one day be considered America's epic and is a prime example of poetic realism

called the "Bard of Democracy"

considered one of America's most influential poets
In 1862, Whitman moved to Washington D.C. to help care for his brother, George, who fought for the Union, and had been wounded
Whitman stayed in D.C. for three years working and visiting wounded soldiers.

His volunteer work was both life-changing and exhausting. By his own rough estimates, Whitman made 600 hospital visits, seeing more than 100,000 patients.
His volunteer work led him to write and publish a collection of poems called
Drum-Taps
, which represented a more solemn and realistic picture of what the Civil War meant for those fighting in it
Whitman's poetry reflected literary realism which attempted to depict contemporary life and society as it was - to keep it real - the poems in
Leaves of Grass
and
Drum-Taps
are good examples of poetry in the style of realism
After the war, Whitman eventually found steady work as a clerk at the Indian Bureau of the Department of the Interior, but was fired when his boss learned he was the author of
Leaves of Grass

"Pioneers! O Pioneers!" was first published in
Leaves of Grass
in 1865. The poem was written as a tribute to Whitman's fervor for the great Westward expansion which he saw as an opportunity for hope and progress.
January 1873 he had a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and he relocated to Camden, New Jersey, to live with his brother George.

Over the next two decades, Whitman continued to tinker with
Leaves of Grass
, which had not really received any significant literary recognition.

By the mid 1880s,
Leaves of Grass
was being critically recognized, but the America he saw emerge from the Civil War disappointed him.
Right up until the end, he'd continued to work on
Leaves of Grass
; during his lifetime it went through seven editions and expanded to 300+ poems.

March 26, 1892, Walt Whitman passed away. He was buried in a large mausoleum he had built in Camden's Harleigh Cemetery.
born May 31, 1819 in West Hills, Long Island, New York; one of 8 children

began working in the printing business to help support his family at age 11

started teaching at age 17 in a one room school house
Full transcript