American Icons: ‘Leaves of Grass’

Studio 360

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.

(Originally aired September 27, 2013)