Many observers commented on the Whitmanesque quality of "One Today" – the way the writer seemed to sweep the entire country with his gaze. In fact, he says, he had to shed his youthful dependence on Whitman and William Wordsworth to discover his own abilities as a poet. "I was trying to write like other people," he recalls. "Suddenly I realized what I really care about" – his own sense of what it means to call a place "home." Which, of course, was a distinct quality of Whitman's poetry, too.
Credit: Getty Images
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