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Walt Whitman was an American poet whose verse collection Leaves of Grass is a landmark in the history of American literature.
Walt Whitman is best known for his realist poetry and political works during the Civil War. His most famous collection of poems, "Leaves of Grass," caused a stir upon its release for its frank sexual themes.
Although he was married to Constance Lloyd, Wilde spent nights in a hotel with Lord Alfred Douglas. It was his most prolific writing period.
Oscar Wilde's father was Ireland's leading eye surgeon and was knighted in 1864.
Oscar Wilde died at age 46 on November 30, 1900 from meningitis.
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He found part-time work in the paymaster's office and spent much of the rest of his time visiting wounded soldiers.
This volunteer work proved to be both life-changing and exhausting. By his own rough estimates, Whitman made 600 hospital visits, seeing more than 100,000 patients. The work took a toll physically, but also propelled him to return to poetry. He published an new collection called Drum-Taps,
which represented a more solemn realization of what the Civil War meant for those in the thick of it.
This new collection included the poems "Beat! Beat! Drums!" and "Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night." A later edition featured his elegy on President Abraham Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Boom'd."
In the immediate years after the Civil War, Whitman continued to visit wounded veterans. It's during this time that he met Peter Doyle, a young Confederate soldier and train car conductor. Whitman, who had a quiet history of becoming close with younger men, had an instant and intense bond with Doyle. As Whitman's health began to unravel in the 1860s, Doyle helped nurse him back to health.
In Washington, where Whitman eventually found steady work as a clerk at the Indian Bureau of the Department of the Interior, the pace of life that agreed with him. He continued to pursue literary projects, and in 1870 he published two new collections, Democratic Vistas and Passage to India.
But in 1873 his life took a dramatic turn for the worse. In January 1873 he suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. In May he returned home to see his ailing mother, who died just three days after his arrival. Frail himself, Whitman found it impossible to continue with his job in Washington and relocated to Camden, New Jersey, to live with his brother George.
Over the next two decades, Whitman continued to tinker with Leaves of Grass. An 1882 edition of the collection earned the poet some fresh newspaper coverage. That in turn resulted in robust sales, enough so that Whitman was able to buy a modest house of his own in Camden.
These final years proved to be both fruitful and frustrating for Whitman. His life's work received much needed validation in terms of recognition, but the America he saw emerge from the Civil War disappointed him. His health, too, continued to deteriorate.
On March 26, 1892 Walt Whitman passed away in Camden. Right up until the end, he'd continued to work with Leaves of Grass, which during his lifetime had gone through seven editions and expanded to some 300 poems. He was buried in a large mausoleum he had built in Camden's Harleigh Cemetery.
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