What is to say about one of the authors that I quote often and who I can always be impressed and learn from? Walt Whitman (West Hills, New York, 1819) was, and he still is, one of the most influential writers of modern times, regarding genres such as poetry (He is considered the creator of the free verse), essay, and also as journalist and philosopher.
Both contributing to philosophical Transcendentalism and Realism, from his mind were born such controversial works, as his sublime ‘Leaves of Grass’, which addresses sexuality openly, he wrote it for the common citizen and it has been acclaimed by both public and fellow writers who point to it as an influence: from D.H. Lawrence to Borges, Neruda, Lorca or Pessoa.
This masterpiece was financed by himself, since he came from a very modest and large family. Thus, he worked as a journalist and printer, teacher, public employee and he volunteer as a civil nurse in his country’s Civil War.
Very interested in people, he always opposed to slavery and was clear on political issues. At his death in 1892, his funeral became a public event.
We know Walt Whitman thanks to brilliant texts like these:
When I give, I give myself.
Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.
Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.
The insignificant is as important as everything else.
I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.
If I cannot reach my destination now, I will accept it with joy, even if I do not get there within ten million years, I will wait cheerfully, too.
When I meet someone it doesn’t matter if they are white, black, Jewish or Muslim. I just care if they are human.
Of any success, however small, one day a larger effort will emerge that will complete it.
Do not let life pass you, live without that.
A marvel to be discovered and to learn from, Walt Whitman’s writings.
Have a happy week,