May 31, 2020
Americans Who Tell the Truth
It’s the 201st birthday of Walt Whitman, born on this day in 1819 at West Hills, Long Island, New York.
Whitman wrote in his preface to Leaves of Grass:
This is what you shall do: love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone who asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown.
It was this great American poet who inspired artist Robert Shetterly’s first portrait in his AWTT series. A giant figure in America’s cultural history, Whitman occupies a bold, sweet presence in the artist’s heart.