I always delight in asking people what they think of poetry, often finding the responses in polarized spectrums. “I adore poetry, it’s everything that is right with the world!,” some may say. “Poetry’s weird,” others may proclaim. I tend to fall into the latter category, often baffled by the underlying meanings and symbols thrown into each line a poet creates. I find poems hard to read, hard to write, and difficult to relate to. But this weekend, the writer in me begged to become more acquainted with the practice of poetry and the wonderful people who create it.
Walt Whitman was an American poet, essay writer, and journalist, creating his most famous work, Leaves of Grass in the late nineteenth century. He was born and raised on Long Island, and there is a museum in Huntington devoted to his childhood home. Since my inner-writer was screaming for poetry exposure, I decided to make the hour-long trip to learn about this great man who wrote such great things.