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Word Count: 438
Having come from a poor family in Brooklyn NY Walter Whitman grew to be recognized as one of Americas greatest poets Whitman was born in 1819 His father a carpenter and farmer encouraged him to enter the labor force at an early age At 12 he left school and carried various jobs as office boy and printers assistant at local newspapers Beginning in 1836 he began writing on various forums for the newspapers and this continued throughout his life He began writing poetry in 1848 and published his fist volume Leaves of Grass in 1855 It included 12 of his moderately long free verse poems but he later updated his version of Leaves of Grass to include more poems revised poems and a quote on the cover from Ralph Waldo Emerson saying I greet you at the beginning of a new career Whitman later found occupations in the Department of the Interior and as attorney general but lost those positions due to the frank sexual allusions in his poetry Whitmans personal life was however quite bizarre Being married and having children both legitimate and illegitimate he is regarded today as having been a homosexual Both his letters and poetry corroborate his homosexuality though it is not expressed in his poem O Captain My Captain Walt Whitmans poem O Captain My Captain was written in 1865 after the death of Abraham Lincoln The poem is a rare example of Whitmans rhymed and rhythmically regular verse exemplifying uniform stanzas and parallelism between verses Inspired by the death of the great President Lincoln Whitman published his poem in the Saturday Press to immediate acclaim He later revised the poem in 1866 and 1871 Much to Whitmans dismay the poem immediately became his most popular and has been reprinted more than any of his others During his old age Whitman was in great demand for his lectures on Lincoln which included recitations of O Captain My Captain
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