Walt Whitman was one of the most important voices for modern American poetry. The man, as a boy, walked through New York City's dusty unpaved roads. As an adult, he nursed the wounded in Washington, D.C. hospitals. He saw and felt the ragged wound of the American Civil War deeply.
Read "When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom'd" and appreciate the love with which he loved his country and his hero.
Can you name the hero eulogized in the poem? E-mail me with your entry, and the first person to answer the question correctly wins a special prize.
BTW, Bartleby.com is an excellent source of books, stories and reference material to read online or download for a dollar. The poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins
(a favorite of Elizabeth Bishop's), Edward Arlington Robinson and others are there for the reading.
Peruse the shelves at Bartleby and find also the under-appreciated The Education of Henry Adams or the oft-read Pride and Prejudice, even Notre Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo or Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and the Inaugural addresses of the U.S. Presidents -- all at your fingertips.
I could go on, but I'd rather you went there yourself. You will be glad you did.