This Sunday marks the 200th birthday of poet Walt Whitman. Whitman was born on May 31, 1819 in West Hills New York, he later moved to Long Island where he founded the newspaper the Long Island Press, and then moved to Laurel Springs, New Jersey. He passed away on March 26, 1892 in Camden. Whitman is known as the “father of free verse,” and is best known for his book Leaves of Grass.
Assistant Director, Melissa Brisbin grew up in Laurel Springs, NJ where Whitman penned part of Leaves of Grass. Every year her school class would rake leaves outside of the Whitman family home. Her favorite quote from the book is, “A blade of grass is the journey work of the stars.” ―
In celebration of Whitman’s birthday we will have works by Whitman as well as books about the poet on display from May 15 – May 31. You can also enter a raffle located near the display, telling us your favorite poet or poem, for the chance to win a prize! Winners will be drawn on June 1, 2019.
To get you further into the poetic spirit, here is an excerpt of Whitman’s poem “O Captain, My Captain” from the Poetry Foundation:
“O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;”
-Jessica Bielen, Adult Services Librarian