In the Nineteenth Century, one of America's greatest writers, Walt Whitman, helped people learn to value poetry. Whitman created a new kind of poetry. Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 - March 26, 1892)was born in Eighteen-Nineteen in New York City. During his long life, he watched America grow from a young nation to the strongest industrial power in the world. Whitman was influenced by events around him. But his poetry speaks of the inner self. He celebrated great people like President Abraham Lincoln. He also celebrated the common people.