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Walt Whitman was looked upon as the forerunner of 20th Century poetry praising democracy and becoming a proclaimed poet of American democracy He was known as the Son of Long Island and he loved his country and everything about it Current Williams Freidel- page 292-293 Whitman lived during the time of the Civil War a fact that increased his patriotism Whitman was considered one of the most important American Poets of the 19th Century Encyclopedia of World Biography- page 249 He influenced the direction of 20th Century poets such as Erza Pound William Carlos Williams Carlos Sandberg and Allen GinsbergWhitman praised democracy and spoke of the flesh as well as the spirit Encyclopedia of Biography- page 249 He rejected the normal rhyme and meter of poetry and wrote in free verse relying on Native American language In general Whitmans poetry is idealistic and romanticWhitman identified strongly with the outcasts of society He said to one outcast Not till the sun excludes you do I exclude you Lowen Nancy- page 11 People hailed him as the most authentic voice of the United States of America Edgar Allen Poe had said The vitality and variety of his life was the mere reflection of the vitality and variety of the United States of AmericaWalter Whitman was born into a family of nine children and he had a rough childhood The Whitman family first settled in the Huntington area by the middle of the seventeenth century This helped him to write two of the worlds greatest literary works There was a Child Went Forth and Song to Myself Lowen Nancy- page 6There was a Child Went Forth was about his siblings and his childhood Out of nine children only four survived to live to old age He spoke of how his siblings died and how it affected his family Whitman had one sibling who was insane one who was severely retarded one who died at infancy one who died
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