I celebrate myself
and what I assume you shall assume
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
So begins this nation’s first great poem, Song of Myself, written by Walt Whitman and first published in 1855. Ever since then, the father of free verse has lived in the American imagination as the embodiment of a free man, unfettered, unbound by any dogma or dictum. Kim and Valerie Nuzzo have created a one-man stage show called Multitudes about Walt Whitman. I spoke with Kim about Walt Whitman and his life and times.