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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 Ginsberg.
Whitman 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, Whitman’s poetry is idealistic and romantic.
Whitman 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 America.;
Walter Whitman was born into a family of nine children and he had a rough childhood.The Whitman familyfirst settled in the Huntington area by the middle of the seventeenth century.This helped him to write two of the world;s greatest literary works, ;There was a Child Went Forth; and ;Song to Myself.;(Lowen, Nancy- page 6).
;There 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 se…

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