Walt Whitman is widely considered one of the most innovative and influential of all American poets. In fact, his poetry has also affected many writers and other kinds of artists (such as composers) in various places outside America. Whitman wrote in a loose, free-flowing style that is all his own but that also inspired many later writers, such as Carl Sandburg and Allen Ginsberg (to mention only two of many poets who deliberately took Whitman as a model). But Whitman is notable and influential not only for his way of writing but also for the topics he addressed. These include (among many others) freedom, sexuality, the lives of common people, democratic values and aspirations, and a kind of spirituality not necessarily tethered to conventional religion. This volume provides readers with a better understanding of Whitman the person, the thinker, and the artist.