We can’t talk about America today without feeling that the ghost of Whitman is sitting next to us, particularly when you are dealing with so-called minority or ethnic literature. In the 19th century, Whitman was receptive to the idea of multitudes—a country that is made of many countries. He looks at New York City as a metaphor for the rest of the country, and that New York City is a symphony of voices, of backgrounds. In particular, when it comes to poetry, there are a lot of Latino writers that view him as a godfather, or even as a compadre. William Carlos Williams, Martín Espada, and Jimmy Santíago Baca, for instance. Whitman is in writers who want not only to produce aesthetic artifacts but also use those cultural and literary artifacts as tools or weapons for change.