W.S. Merwin is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. He will become the 17th poet laureate this fall, succeeding Kay Ryan. Matt Valentine/Library of Congress/AP Photo hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Valentine/Library of Congress/AP Photo

Song of Myself was included in Walt Whitman's major work, Leaves of Grass. Whitman paid for the publication of the first edition himself. Three Lions/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Three Lions/Getty Images