Anyway, now we have an unequivocal answer to that pressing historical question: exactly how did Walt Whitman change after reading essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson? Here we have before and after photos:
Ralph Waldo Emerson: Proud to be an American
Emerson's essays influenced Whitman as a poet. Emerson's letter to Whitman gave Whitman more confidence as a poet in the public eye so to speak.
For more on Emerson's influence on Whitman, see
For more regarding Emerson's famous letter to Whitman, see
-- "It is our goal to appreciate and improve our talents, to share our own work and to communicate the joys of poetry with others. Everyone's poetry is valued."