Walt Whitman was arguably one of America’s most significant and groundbreaking poets. He was born on May 31, 1819 into a working class family in West Hills, New York. Whitman was the second son of Walter Whitman Sr. who was both a carpenter and a farmer. The Sr. Whitman was never very successful at either occupation; however, he moved his family to Brooklyn in 1823 in order to follow a career as a house builder.
Whitman attended elementary school in Brooklyn, and at the age of eleven, he began to work in a local office as a clerk. At the age of twelve, he began to learn the printers trade and fell in love with the ‘written word’. Whitman, who mostly taught himself, avidly read the works of Shakespeare, Dante and Homer. Over the next few years, he worked as a printer at the Patriot and Stars newspapers in Brooklyn until in 1836, when a fire demolished the industry. When Whitman turned seventeen, he started teaching at a schoolhouse in Long Island where he taught for five more years….