“The quality of BEING, in the object’s self, according to its own central idea and purpose, and of growing therefrom and thereto — not criticism by other standards, and adjustments thereto — is the lesson of Nature.” “Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul,” Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819–March 26, 1892) wrote in offering his timeless advice on living a vibrant and rewarding life in the preface to Leaves of Grass .

Source: Confidence Through Criticism: A Lesson in Self-Esteem from Walt Whitman

Additional Reading

Complete Poems of Walt Whitman

By Walt Whitman

 

Walt Whitman’s verse gave the poetry of America a distinctive national voice. It reflects the unique vitality of the new nation, the vastness of the land and the emergence of a sometimes troubled consciousness, communicated in language and idiom regarded by many at the time as shocking. Whitman’s poems are organic and free flowing, fit into no previously defined genre and skilfully combine autobiographical, sociological and religious themes with lyrical sensuality. His verse is a fitting celebration of a new breed of American and includes ‘Song of Myself’, ‘Crossing Brooklyn Ferry’, the celebratory ‘Passage to India’, and his fine elegy for the assassinated President Lincoln, ‘When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d’.

AUTHOR: Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. The collection of his poetry,’ Leaves of Grass’ was highly controversial in its day, as some found its overt sexuality offensive. The quality of his later works places him among the most influential American poets, and he has been called’ the father of free verse’.

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