The essence of famous American poet and essayist Walt Whitman is captured in the collection Song of Myself and Other Poems. Whitman wrote in the time when Transcendentalism was fading and Realism was becoming more popular. As a result, his works encompass traits of both eras. His first work was an American epic called Leaves of Grass. He kept revising the collection until his death issuing several editions and ultimately it contained some of the most famous poems that Whitman ever created. Song of Myself is hailed as Whitman's best and most widespread poem. In the poem, the author creates a persona that is both an individual as well as a universal voice for the people. Typical of Whitman's style, Song of Myself is written in free verse, allowing the narrator to appeal to a wide variety of readers. Also contained in the anthology Song of Myself and Other Poems is As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life, As Farm Picture, and When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd. Lilacs was written as an elegy to President Abraham Lincoln after his assassination in 1865. The works of Walt Whitman have been alluded to in the creations of numerous other artists and will most assuredly continue to influence writers and poets for years to come.