|Walt Whitman is buried in Harleigh
Cemetery, Camden, New Jersey, USA in a tomb of his own design.
Tomb of Walt Whitman
In 1873 Whitman suffered a partial paralysis and moved to his
brother's home in Camden New Jersey. Despite his poor health he continued to write
poetry and managed to complete a tour of Western America in 1879.
He died on March 26th 1892 - the same year as the sixth and
of Leaves of Grass was published.
As a young man Whitman used traditional poetic forms but later began
to write free verse influenced by the rhythms in The Bible. When
Leaves of Grass first appeared, the poetry reading public were
horrified. (It was the same year that
Longfellow published Hiawatha to great acclaim.)
However, in time, his 'barbaric yawp' was to prove hugely influential
in heralding in the new age of modernist poetry. In his poem A Pact
Ezra Pound states that it was Whitman 'that
broke the new wood'.
Whitman inspired many imitators including D.H. Lawrence,
Langston Hughes and Beat Poet
In his old age Whitman had the appearance of an Old Testament
prophet due to his long shaggy beard and piercing eyes.
|Walt Whitman, a kosmos,
of Manhattan the son,
sensual, eating, drinking and breeding,
|No sentimentalist, no
stander above men and women or apart from
|No more modest than
|Unscrew the locks from
|Unscrew the doors
themselves from their jambs!
From Song of Myself XXIV
Read more of Whitman's
The Walt Whitman