|Walt Whitman and his friend Peter Doyle|
When I was in school, though, I had a really interesting course in which we read John Dos Passos' USA Trilogy, Studs Terkel's book Working (I was a big fan of his kind of journalism) and the poetry of Walt Whitman, specificlly "I Hear America Singing." (We also read Carl Sandburg's poem about Chicago.) I liked Whitman because he wasn't sing-songy. He used words like a painter uses pigments and when his masterwork, "Leaves of Grass" came out, it was labeled obscene when in fact it was simply sensual.