Walt Whitman

/ March 26, 2012

May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892

It is the 120th anniversary of Walt Whitman’s death. Walt Whitman spent his life writing poems, essays and working as a journalist. Probably his most famous work was Leaves of Grass, a collection of poems that Whitman began working on in 1850 and continued revising throughout the rest of his life. It is the 1891-92 edition of Leaves of Grass that is called the “deathbed” edition. In December of 1891, Whitman sent a note to a friend noting his completion of the collection:

L. of G. at last complete—after 33 y’rs of hackling at it, all times & moods of my life, fair weather & foul, all parts of the land, and peace & war, young & old—the wonder to me that I have carried it on to accomplish as essentially as it is, tho’ I see well enough its numerous deficiencies & faults.1

It is said that in late December of 1891 Whitman drafted his Last Will and Testament, making changes to an earlier Will and leaving two watches to two friends. Whitman had had a mausoleum built in Camden, NJ, which is where he was ultimately laid to rest at age 72.2


1 http://whitmanarchive.org/criticism/current/encyclopedia/entry_27.html


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