I have posted some of my favourite parts of Walt Whitman’s groundbreaking epic poem which can now be read in its entirety at open library.org (http://www.archive.org/stream/grasssands00whitrich#page/n3/mode/2up )
As a child Whitman adored to read, and this shows. He read Homer, Shakespeare, Dante, and the Bible. He was to influence the future of poetry, and when I read T. S Eliot, another favourite, and Ezra Pound, the echo of Whitman can be heard in the background. At the time it was criticized for its obscenity and his brother George declared it ‘not worth reading’. Nevertheless, the poem did have its admirers, amongst them Ralph W. Emerson.
Last words go to Walt;