Walt Whitman Biography | 5 Interesting Facts About Him

Five  Interesting Facts about Walt Whitman

Walter Whitman, commonly known as ‘Walt Whitman, was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. He was born on 31st May in 1819 and died on 26th March 1892. Whitman is among the most famous poets of America and is often called the father of free verse His work was very controversial in those times especially in the case of “Leaves of Grass”, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality.

Here, we are going to discuss 5 interesting facts about Walt Whitman, which are also less known to the people of America.

  Fact – 1: Left school and started working at the age of 11                                     

Walt Whitman was born in West Hills, Long Island. He was the second of the nine children in his family. His family soon moved to Brooklyn, where he attended school but only for a few years. Whitman’s formal education didn’t last for long. He left school at the age of 11 and started working to help his father to run the family. He got a job assisting a law office before involving himself in the printing business. In spite of leaving school at an earlier age and working to help his father, he continued to educate himself and become a teacher at the age of 17.

  Fact – 2: Was a volunteer nurse during the Civil  War                                                  

Very few people know that he was not only a famous American poet, essayist, journalist, and teacher but also a volunteer nurse for three years during the Civil War. When Walt came to know that his brother had been wounded in the war, he went to Washington, D.C. to tend his brother. After witnessing the wounded soldiers in the hospital where his brother was admitted, Whitman signed up to be a nurse at the battle zone in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Later, he visited various hospitals tending to the sick soldiers, listening to their stories, and writing letters home for them.
  Fact – 3: As a Fitness Guru                                                                                     
Walt Whitman was not only a great writer but also one of the earliest Fitness Guru.  He was very much interested in physical fitness. He wrote a series of articles “Manly Helth” for the New York Atlas in 1850. It gives a detailed description of his approach to diet and wellness.
      “Let the main part of the diet be meat, to the exclusion of all else”, wrote Whitman.
  Fact – 4: Liked to be NUDE                                                                                   

Over the years, poets and critics have debated over the possibility that there might have been Thomas Eakins’ painting of Walt Whitman in the nude pose. This Thomas Eakins’ multiple photographs were published for the first time where it is labeled as “old man”. It should come as no shock that Whitman would pose nude. He often swam naked. In the 1870s and 1880s, Whitman was known to visit with friends while being completely nude. In Whitman’s word “Nature was naked and  I was also”.


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  Fact – 5: He designed his own Tomb                                                                      

During the remaining years, Walt Whitman was in very poor health. He suffered much but mostly never complained about his situation. Whitman himself made plans for his final resting. Whitman designed his own granite mausoleum in Camden, New Jersey. He shaped it like a house. Visitors, sometimes, leave letters or pennies at the iron gate in front of the grave.

If you find these facts interesting please do share this with your friends and neighbor so that they also come to know about these little-known facts about Walt Whitman.

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