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Walt Whitman Posters, Books, Video, Links for Learning
for the literature and social studies classrooms and home schoolers.

literature posters > WALT WHITMAN < notable men < social studies

Walt Whitman American Poet, Author, and Journalist in Portrait from Mathew Brady Studio, 1863, Giclee Print

Walt Whitman- American Authors Biographical Timeline Fine Art Print

Walt Whitman
b. 5-31-1819; Long Island, NY
d. 3-26-1892; Camden, NJ

Walt Whitman, often described as America's most innovative and influential poet, published eight editions of his famous Leaves of Grass. He hoped his accessible, experimental free verse would be read by average Americans and transform their way of thinking.

Literature and Language Arts Index

Walt Whitman- American Authors Biographical Timeline Fine Art Print
Walt Whitman,
American Authors
of the 19th Century

American Authors of the 19th Century -
Walt Whitman

“The Americans of all nations at any time upon the earth have probably the fullest poetical nature. The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.” Leaves of Grass

• more 19th Century American Authors

Walt Whitman, National Archives
Walt Whitman,
Art Print

Walt Whitman, National Archives
Walt Whitman,
Art Print

Walt Whitman, Photographic Print
Walt Whitman,
Photographic Print

Walt Whitman, Giclee Print
Walt Whitman,
Giclee Print

Walt Whitman, American Writer, Giclee Print
Walt Whitman,
American Writer,
Giclee Print

Walt Whitman House, Huntington, Long Island, New York, Art Print
Walt Whitman House Huntington, Long Island, New York,
Art Print

Famous Writers Poster
Famous Writers

Civil War Hospital, print
Civil War Hospital

Walt Whitman served as a battlefield nurse in the American Civil War.

Free Verse Poetry Form Poster
Free Verse
Poetry Form Poster

Free Verse

After the Sea-Ship

After the Sea-Ship — after the whistling winds;
After the white-gray sails, taut to their spars and ropes,
Below, a myriad, myriad waves, hastening, lifting up their necks,
Tending in ceaseless flow toward the track of the ship:
Waves of the ocean, bubbling and gurgling, blithely prying,
Waves, undulating waves — liquid, uneven, emulous waves,
Toward that whirling current, laughing and buoyant, with curves,
Where the great Vessel, sailing and tacking, displaced the surface;
Larger and smaller waves, in the spread of the ocean, yearnfully flowing;
The wake of the Sea-Ship, after she passes — flashing and frolicsome, under the sun,
A motley procession, with many a fleck of foam, and many fragments,
Following the stately and rapid Ship — in the wake following.

more poetry forms

Oh Captain, My Captain - Poster
Oh Captain, My Captain - Poster

Oh Captain My Captain

Our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The post is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;

The Great City - Poster
The Great City - Poster

The Great City

Where the city of faithfulest friends stands,
Where the city of the cleanliness of the sexes stands,
Where the city of the healthiest fathers stands,
Where the city of the best-bodied mothers stands,
There the great city stands.


• “The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual.”
• “And your very flesh shall be a great poem.”
• “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”
• “I say that democracy can never prove itself beyond cavil, until it founds and luxuriantly grows its own forms of art, poems, schools, theology, displacing all that exists, or that has been produced anywhere in the past, under opposite influences.”
• “Judging from the main portions of the history of the world, so far, justice is always in jeopardy.”
• “Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you?”
• “A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.”

about Walt Whitman ~
• “Not for a moment, beautiful aged Walt Whitman, have I failed to see your beard full of butterflies.” ~ Federico Garcia Lorca


The Complete Poems of Walt Whitman, Frances Murphy, ed. - Whitman published his Leaves of Grass in 1855 and prepared eight other editions during the next thirty-five years. These incorporated completely new poems as well as extensive changes in those that had already appeared. Most of the changes served to emphasize the prophetic strand in his poetry – Whitman as the exuberant champion of political and sexual emancipation – but there is another element in his work which it was left to D. H. Lawrence to point out 'This is the unrestful, ungraspable poetry of the sheer present... Whitman's is the best poetry of this kind.'

Francis Murphy has chosen to print the final 'death-bed' edition (1891-92) of Leaves of Grass, in accordance with a note of instruction left by the poet to his future editors. But earlier versions of many poems are also given in the notes so that the reader can follow Witman's development. In addition, the 1855 version of one of his most important poems, Song of Myself, is given in full in an appendix. (back cover)

Walt Whitman's America : A Cultural Biography by David S. Reynolds - In his poetry Walt Whitman set out to encompass all of America and in so doing heal its deepening divisions. This magisterial biography demonstrates the epic scale of his achievement, as well as the dreams and anxieties that impelled it, for it places the poet securely within the political and cultural context of his age.

Combing through the full range of Whitman's writing, David Reynolds shows how Whitman gathered inspiration from every stratum of nineteenth-century American life: the convulsions of slavery and depression; the raffish dandyism of the Bowery "b'hoys"; the exuberant rhetoric of actors, orators, and divines. We see how Whitman reconciled his own sexuality with contemporary social mores and how his energetic courtship of the public presaged the vogues of advertising and celebrity. Brilliantly researched, captivatingly told, Walt Whitman's America is a triumphant work of scholarship that breathes new life into the biographical genre.

Lincoln and Whitman : Parallel Lives in Civil War Washington by Daniel Mark Epstein - It was more than coincidence – indeed, it was all but fate – that the lives and thoughts of Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman should converge during the terrible years of the Civil War. Kindred spirits despite their profound differences in position and circumstance, Lincoln and Whitman shared a vision of the democratic character that sprang from the deepest part of their being. They had read or listened to each other's words at crucial turning points in their lives. Both were utterly transformed by the tragedy of the war. In this radiant book, poet and biographer Daniel Mark Epstein tracks the parallel lives of these two titans from the day that Lincoln first read Leaves of Grass to the elegy Whitman composed after Lincoln's assassination in 1865.

Drawing on the rich trove of personal and newspaper accounts, diary records, and lore that has accumulated around both the president and the poet, Epstein structures his double portrait in a series of dramatic, atmospheric scenes. Whitman, though initially skeptical of the Illinois Republican, became enthralled when Lincoln stopped in New York on the way to his first inauguration. During the war years, after Whitman moved to Washington to minister to wounded soldiers, the poet's devotion to the president developed into a passion bordering on obsession. “Lincoln is particularly my man, and by the same token, I am Lincoln's man.”

As Epstein shows, the influence and reverence flowed both ways. Lincoln had been deeply immersed in Whitman's verse when he wrote his incendiary “House Divided” speech, and Whitman remained an influence during the darkest years of the war. But their mutual impact went beyond the intellectual. Epstein brings to life the many friends and contacts his heroes shared – Lincoln's debonair private secretary John Hay, the fiery abolitionist senator Charles Sumner, the mysterious and possibly dangerous Polish Count Gurowski – as he unfolds the story of their legendary encounters in New York City and especially Washington during the war years.

Blending history, biography, and a deeply informed appreciation of Whitman's verse and Lincoln's rhetoric, Epstein has written a masterful and original portrait of two great men and the era they shaped through the vision they held in common. (inside flap)

Voices and Visions: Walt Whitman (1999), VHS -

Famous Author: Walt Whitman, VHS -

Walt Whitman & the Civil War, VHS - Walt Whitman is generally acknowledged to be a true great giant of American literature-often considered to be the father of American poetry. When he was 42 years of age the most profound event of his life occurred...The American Civil War. While some of his Civil War poems are among his most famous, few realize his personal involvement in that war, serving as a battlefield nurse and tending the wounded and the dying in that awful conflict. This program reviews his extraordinary life and presents excerpts from some of his greatest works.


  • The Walt Whitman Archive - an electronic research and teaching tool that sets out to make Whitman’s vast work, for the first time, easily and conveniently accessible to scholars, students, and general readers.
  • Walt Whitman Collection at the Library of Congress - The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.
  • Walt Whitman and the Development of Leaves of Grass - University of South Carolina
  • Walt Whitman Birthplace - Changing exhibits include Whitman memorabilia, photographs, books, and excerpts from writings and letters. Special events such as poetry readings, lectures, educational programs, an Arts and Crafts Festival, and the Walt Whitman Birthday Celebration are held during the year, giving individuals and families great opportunities to become more familiar with Walt Whitman, his works, and Long Island history. 

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last updated 11/26/13