American poet, essayist, and journalist Walt Whitman was born on 31 May 1819. His verse collection "Leaves of Grass" is a landmark in the history of American literature. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Read here.
“We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering ... these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love ... these are what we stay alive for.”