Walter Whitman (1819-1892) was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War in addition to publishing his poetry. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans (1842). His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, first published in 1855, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death. Amongst his other works are: Drum-Taps (1865), Passage to India (1871), Two Rivulets (1872) and Specimen Days and Collect (1882).