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“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars,
And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren,
And the tree-toad is a chef-d’oeuvre for the highest,
And the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heaven,
And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery,
And the cow crunching with depress’d head surpasses any statue,
And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels,
And I could come every afternoon of my life to look at the farmer’s
girl boiling her iron tea-kettle and baking shortcake.”
– from “Leaves of Grass”, by Walt Whitman

Walter Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and—in addition to publishing his poetry—was a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War. Whitman’s major work, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death in 1892.

Whitman Bicentennial Celebration is set to take place on Long Island, NY (where Whitman was born) on May 31st-June 2nd, 2019.

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Image courtesy FPG / Getty Images

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