Today is the birth date of WALT WHITMAN (d: 1892) In our humble opinion, this ought to be a national holiday. The prophetic poet, writer of the visionary homoerotic poetry of Calamus, lover of PETER DOYLE, and many others,
Walter Whitman was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. Proclaimed the “greatest of all American poets” by many foreign observers a mere four years after his death, he is viewed as the first urban poet.
He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and Realism, incorporating both views in his works. His works have even been translated into more than twenty-five languages and he was an early and profound inspiration to many of the earliest Gay theorists, including Edward Carpenter who carried on a correspondence with him and visited Whitman in his Camden, New Jersey home twice.
For decades after his death historians denied his sexuality, but ironically in the 1950s, when Philadelphia wanted to name a bridge after him, there protests in front of city hall because of his homosexuality.