->''"If you are an American, then Walt Whitman is your imaginative father and mother, even if, like myself, you have never composed a line of verse."''
'''Walt Whitman''' (1819-1892) was an American poet probably best known for his revolutionary book ''Literature/LeavesOfGrass''. His work has elements of transcendentalism and humanism, and his poetry greatly influenced all the poets that came after him.
Also notable because of continuing debates about his sexuality and because of the mad love Creator/TheBeatGeneration had for him and his wandering ways.
You probably know him for his poem about UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln, "[[Film/DeadPoetsSociety O Captain, My Captain]]".
Whitman was a fierce proponent of democracy and egalitarianism. He was known to ride the [[OlderThanTheyThink bus]], sitting up front quoting Creator/WilliamShakespeare to the driver.
!!His work features these tropes:
* AmbiguouslyGay: Well, not really. The majority of scholars believe he was either this or bi. Oscar Wilde once said he made out with Whitman in 1882.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: "love-flesh swelling/and deliciously aching,/Limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering jelly of/love, white-blow and delirious nice"--from "I Sing the Body Electric"ers
* GenrePopularizer: For free verse. It had been around for centuries, but Whitman is responsible for making it the dominant poetic mode of the modern era.