Walt Whiteman

1819-1892
Brooklyn

Description

Born on May,31, 1819 Walt was the second son of Walter Whiteman, a construction worker; this family consisted of 9 children. At age twelve, Walt began to learn printer's trade, and fell in love with the written word. Walt worked as a printer in New York city until a fire broke out in the printing district which destroyed the industry. At the age of 17, he started his career as a teacher until he turned to journalism. Later on he founded a weekly newspaper called "Long Islander".

In 1895, Walt took a copyright of Leaves of Grass, which consisted of twelve untitled poems and a preface. He published the collection himself, and sent a copy to Emerson in July of 1855. Whiteman released a second edition, but with thirty-three poems, a well written letter from Emerson for the first volume, and a long thank you letter from Walt. Walt struggled to support himself throughout his life, he lived on a clerks salary and modest royalties. After his death on March 26, 1892, Walt was buried in his own tomb that he designed on a lot on Harleigh Cemetery.

I Hear America Singing

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;

Those of mechanics--each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat--the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench--the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter's song--the ploughboy's, on his way in the morning,
or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother--or of the young wife at work--or of the girl sewing or washing--Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day--At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.

http://poetry.org/whitman.htm