A Critical Review of "Leaves of Grass"
By Walt Whitman
Azad University of Kerman
Instructor: Dr. Khozaei
Walter Whitman, the poet known as the American bard was born in West Hills, Long Island
in New York on May 31, 1819. His mother, Louisa, immigrated from Holland and his father,
Walter, from England. Whitman's father worked mostly with his hands as a carpenter and a
house builder and Whitman himself would pursue on trades early in his life. Shortly after
Whitman was born, his family moved to Brooklyn, where Whitman would receive his
schooling. As a young man, he held various jobs: he set type in a printing office, and he
worked as a schoolteacher.
By 1841, Whitman was beginning to focus his career on writing, first in the form of
journalism. He became something of an accomplished journalist in his own right, reporting
for and editing several newspapers and periodicals. Bettina Knapp notes that Whitman
completed a "temperance novel, Franklin Evans; or The Inebriate, in 1842 to secure funds
for Leaves of Grass. He later disavowed this novel due to its poor quality." It was then, after
a brief occupation as a carpenter that Whitman finally determined to dedicate his time to
writing poetry, though he had begun to formulate ideas about what a new American literature
would look like much earlier. His vision stems, in part, from his experiences during a trip
across America that he undertook in 1848. As he traveled from New York to Louisiana,
Whitman was deeply affected by the people and places he saw. These images became a
collage of America and a source for his writing.
Whitman's Leaves of Grass had a lifespan of several editions and 37 years, for Whitman was
constantly in the act...