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Ralph Waldo Emerson issued a call for a great poet to capture and immortalize the unique American experience. In 1855, an answer came with Leaves of Grass.
Today, this masterful collection remains not only a seminal event in American literature but also the incomparable achievement of one of America’s greatest poets—an exuberant, passionate man who loved his country and wrote of it as no other has ever done. Walt Whitman was a singer, thinker, visionary, and citizen extraordinaire. Thoreau called Whitman “probably the greatest democrat that ever lived,” and Emerson judged Leaves of Grass as “the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed.”