His way of thinking and expressing himself in everyday terms is a thread running through many present day poems. His take that the poem produced him gave many writers a new way of acknowledging the written word, that which is created.
” 337 copies of the first edition in this binding were printed between June and July 1855. The only place where Whitman’s name is mentioned is the copyright notice (“Walter Whitman”), though the speaker, later on, in the central poem of the book, “Song of Myself,” confidently identifies himself as “Walt Whitman, an American, one of the roughs.” His poem produces him, Whitman wants to say, rather than he the poem. And this is indeed how Leaves of Grass first appeared, since Whitman provided no other titles—not as a collection of separate works, but as one continuous poetic meditation. ” Read more
Ref: House of possibilities