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Leaves of Grass (Penguin Classics) (original 1855; edition 2005)

by Walt Whitman

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7,03251515 (4.16)1 / 213
Member:linftodd
Title:Leaves of Grass (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Walt Whitman
Info:Penguin USA (2005), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 192 pages
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Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (1855)

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English (46)  Italian (2)  Romanian (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Yuck! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Yuck! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
a Classic The greatness of the USA and those She welcomes from other countries ( )
  haikupatriot | Nov 18, 2015 |
I actually did have to read this entire collection of poems. I actually did hate that fact. I happened to enjoy some of it, and much of it made me what to stab my eyes out with knitting needles. Professors, please do not make your students read this entire collection in 1 week in a mandatory survey course for English majors--you are killing Whitman again, and again, and again. Perhaps, if this were an elective course and I had been given the time to enjoy it, I wouldn't shudder when my eyes pass over the spine of this book on my shelf.

My memory of this experience boils down to this: "The red marauder." Wouldn't Whitman want to be remembered for more? ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
[From Books and You, Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1940, pp. 104-7:]

Now I have but Walt Whitman to speak of. I have kept him to the end, because I think it is in Leaves of Grass that we at last get, free from European influences, the pure and unadulterated Americanism which in these pages we have sought. Leaves of Grass is a work of immense significance, but since I began by reminding you that I would recommend you to read books which, whatever their other merits, were enjoyable, I am constrained to tell you that few great poets have been more uneven than Whitman. I think many books are spoilt for readers because the critics speak of them as though they had no defects. Perfection is not of this world, and generally merits can only be achieved at the cost of short-comings. It is much better that the reader should know what to expect; otherwise, finding himself at variance with the panegyrists, he will unduly blame himself for not appreciating something that in fact does not merit appreciation.

Whitman was a writer of splendid beginnings, but either because he found his way of writing too easy or because he was intoxicated with his own verbosity, often enough he went on and on when he had nothing of significance to add to what he had already said. That you must put up with. He wrote his poems partly in the rhythmic language of the Bible, partly in the sort of blank verse that was written in the seventeenth century, and partly in an uncouth pedestrian prose which offends the ear. Well, that you must put up with too. These defects are regrettable, but unimportant. It is easy to skip. Leaves of Grass is a book to open anywhere, read on as long as it pleases and then turn the pages and start at random elsewhere. Whitman could write lines of pure and lovely poetry, he could turn phrases that thrill, and often he hit upon ideas that were wonderfully moving. There can be no need for me to say that he is one of the most exciting of all poets. He had a vigour and a sense of life, in its manifold variety, in its passion, beauty and exhilaration, which an American may justly and with pride think truly American. He brought poetry home to the common man. He showed that it was not only to be found in moonlight, ruined castles and the pathos of lovesick maidens; but in streets and trains and steamboats, in the labour of the artisan and the humdrum toil of the farmer’s wife, in work and ease; in all life, in short, and the ways it is lived. Just as Wordsworth showed that you need not use poetic language to make poetry, but could make it out of the common words of our everyday speech, so Whitman showed that its subject matter was not only where the romantics had sought it, but was all about you in the most usual circumstances of your daily round. His was not a poetry of escape, but a poetry of acceptance. It would be a dull-spirited American who could read Whitman without receiving a greater apprehension of the vastness of his country, the splendour of its resources, and the illimitable hope that is contained in its future. I think it was really in Whitman that America became aware of itself in literature. It is a virile, democratic poetry; it is the authentic battle cry of a new nation and the solid foundation of a national literature.

In European museums you sometimes see the genealogy of the house of Jesse depicted as a tree, with Adam massively outlined in the trunk and the branches ending in figures of the patriarchs and the kings of Israel. If such a tree were made to represent the development of American literature and the branches ended with the shapes of O. Henry, Ring Lardner, Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Willa Cather, Robert Frost, Vachel Lindsay, Eugene O’Neill and Edwin Arlington Robinson, the trunk would be rough-hewn in the splendid, dauntless and original form of Walt Whitman.
1 vote WSMaugham | Jun 22, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (152 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walt Whitmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Babcock, Clarence MertonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniel, Lewis C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holloway, EmoryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaplan, JustinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kouwenhoven, John A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loving, JeromeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spanfeller, JimIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Come, said my Soul,
Such verses for my Body let us write, (for we are one,)
That should I after death invisibly return,
Or, long, long hence, in other spheres,
There to some group of mates the chants resuming,
(Tallying Earth's soil, trees, winds, tumultuous waves,)
Ever with pleas'd smile I may keep on,
Ever and ever yet the verses owning - as, first, I here and now
Signing for Soul and Body, set to them my name,
Walt Whitman
Dedication
First words
One's-self I sing, a simple separate person,
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-masse.
Quotations
Melange mine own, the unseen and the seen,

Mysterious ocean where the streams empty,

Prophetic spirit of materials shifting and flickering around me,

Living beings, identities now doubtless near us in the air that we know not of,

Contact daily and hourly that will not release me,

These selecting, these in hints demanded of me.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Whitman revised Leaves of Grass at numerous points in his lifetime, frequently with significant changes between editions. (e.g. 93 pages for the original 1855 edition vs. 439 pages for the final 1891-92 edition.)  This work contains those entries for which the edition is unknown.

If your edition is here and you know which version it is, please separate it and combine it with the correct entry.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553211161, Mass Market Paperback)

One of the great innovative figures in American letters, Walt Whitman created a daringly new kind of poetry that became a major force in world literature. Leaves Of Grass is his one book.  First published in 1855 with only twelve poems, it was greeted by Ralph Waldo Emerson as "the wonderful gift . . . the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed."  Over the course of Whitman's life, the book reappeared in many versions, expanded and transformed as the author's experiences and the nation's history changed and grew.  Whitman's ambition was to creates something uniquely American.  In that he succeeded.  His poems have been woven into the very fabric of the American character.  From his solemn masterpieces "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" and "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" to the joyous freedom of "Song of Myself," "I Sing the Body Electric," and "Song of the Open Road," Whitman's work lives on, an inspiration to the poets of later generations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:38 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

As energetic and diverse as the American life it describes, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass has been loved by generations for its celebration of a brash young nation and one man's exuberant spirit. First published at the author's expense in 1955, this collection of poems was revised and enlarged throughout Whitman's lifetime, and is presented here in the final or "Deathbed edition" of 1892.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Audible.com

11 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140421998, 014303927X, 0451529731

Library of America Paperback Classics

An edition of this book was published by Library of America Paperback Classics.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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