Do I contradict myself? Well, then, I contradict myself. I contain multitudes. - Walt Whitman
As perhaps no other American poet, Walt Whitman conveyed in simple language the inherent beauty of democratic life. Whether exploring his inner dimensions in "Song of Myself," examining the sublime in his surroundings as in "A Noiseless Patient Spider," mourning Abraham Lincoln in "O Captain My Captain," or expounding on the democratic purpose in "Democratic Vistas," Whitman unveiled the transcendent layers of meaning and myth within the psyche of every man and woman. Like his fellow transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, Whitman illustrated the importance of self-knowledge and self-improvement to the democratic experiment. One hundred years after his death, he remains one of America's most prominent , talented, and visionary poets.