At the consistently amazing lit site called themillions.com, I read a July 4th post about America's bard saving the life of the article's author Michael Bourne. Amazing piece, and more like it I would welcome.
Whitman saved my life too.
When 2010 began, I still disliked Whitman, and held a fierce grudge against myself, not just for failing to grasp his barbaric yawp, but for a lot of scarier stuff too. Then I began to understand that Walt was not just trying to write uplifting arias to the self. He was renovating the stale soul of humanity.
After a few passes through Leaves of Grass, the poems that struck me hardest were Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, and So Long. "I say you shall yet find the friend you were looking for."
More on this to come, but I ended the year a Whitman devotee, happier than I've ever been, and highly recommend this book on the poet's impact on his contemporaries.