Part of a Series: American Icons

Arts, Culture & Media

American Icons: ‘Leaves of Grass’

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A daguerreotype of Walt Whitman is displayed at the New York Public Library

A daguerreotype of Walt Whitman is displayed at the New York Public Library

Credit:

Chip East/Reuters

A consummate patriot, Walt Whitman set out to invent a radically new form of poetry for a new nation.

His book was first viewed as bizarre and obscene — one reviewer said that the author should be publicly flogged. But revising and adding to the book until his death, Whitman accomplished his goal, creating a new Bible for American poets.

Poet Matt Miller reveals a secret to the making of this unprecedented work.

An original copy of "Leaves of Grass," published in 1855, is displayed at the New York Public Library

An original copy of "Leaves of Grass," published in 1855, is displayed at the New York Public Library

Credit:

Chip East/Reuters

(Originally aired September 27, 2013)

In Arts, Culture & MediaArtsBooksAmerican Icons.

Tagged: american icons.