Questions and Essays

1. In what ways was Whitman sensitive to women's issues?

2. Explain why Adrienne Rich saw Whitman as a "person beyond gender."

Alexie, Sherman. The Summer of Black Widows. Brooklyn, NY: Hanging Loose Press, 1996.

Hongo, Garrett Kaoru. River of Heaven. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1988.

Jong, Erica. Becoming Light: Poems New and Selected. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1992.

Kingston, Maxine Hong. Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book. New York: Knopf Publishing Group, 1990.

Komunyakaa, Yusef. Dien Cai Dau. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1990.

Komunyakaa, Yusef. Neon Vernacular. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1993.

Ostriker, Alicia Suskin. Stealing the Language. New York: Beacon Press, 1986.

Rich, Adrienne. Diving Into the Wreck: Poems. 1971-72. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1994.


5/31/1819 — Walt Whitman was born in Long Island, New York. 1823 — Whitman family moves to Brooklyn, New York. 1831-1832 — Walt Whitman apprentices at Long Island Patriot. 846-1848 — Whitman edits Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

'848 — Whitman resigns (or is fired) from the Daily Eagle and moves to New Orleans. Same year returns to Brooklyn.

1855 — Leaves of Grass is copyrighted and printed.

1855-56 — Publishes second edition of Leaves of Grass.

1860 — Whitman goes to Boston for third printing of Leaves of Grass.

1861-1862 — Civil War begins. Whitman does freelance journalism.

1863-1864 — Whitman moves to Washington, D C. and volunteers at hospitals.

1865 — Drum-Taps is printed. Whitman begins relationship with Peter Doyle. Whitman works at Bureau of Indian Affairs, but is fired when James Harlan declares Leave of Grass "indecent." Rehired by the Attorney General's Office.

1867 — Fourth edition of Leaves of Grass is printed, which includes the first portion of Democratic Vistas.

1868 — Poems of Walt Whitman is published in London.

1873 — Whitman suffers paralytic stroke, then moves in with his brother, George, in New Jersey.

1876 — Whitman publishes a seventh edition of Leaves of Grass.

1877 — Whitman begins lecture tour.

1888 — Whitman suffers another stroke followed by a prolonged illness. Publishes eighth edition of Leaves of Grass.

1891 — Publishes ninth and final edition of Leaves of Grass (The Deathbed Edition).

3/26/1892 — Whitman dies at Mickle Street. Buried in Harleigh Cemetery, Camden, New Jersey.


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