(1819-92) a major US poet who wrote about individual freedom, equal rights and sexual love, as well as about his love for America. Though many readers thought his poems were immoral, he had a strong influence on later American poets, especially the beat generation. He used the new form of 'free verse', in which lines do not rhyme (= end with the same sound). His best-known works are Leaves of Grass, Drum Taps (1865) and a collection of writings, Democratic Vistas (1871).
“I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd,I stand and look at them long and long.They do not sweat and whine about their condition, …Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.”