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Leaves of Grass (1855 First Edition Text) (original 1855; edition 1855)

by Walt Whitman

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Member:scaifea
Title:Leaves of Grass (1855 First Edition Text)
Authors:Walt Whitman
Info:Wilder Publications (2008), Hardcover, 108 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*
Tags:poetry, banned books

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Leaves of Grass (1855 edition) by Walt Whitman (1855)

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This book is an inspiration to all writers. Whitman's subject matter is based on nature, work, spirituality, war, and the experience of reading a writing. And the style is free-verse. Powerful, for high school.
  Backus2 | Sep 24, 2013 |
This slim book was assigned to me in college and was my introduction to Walt William. This is the first 1855 edition of only 12 poems, later given titles: "Song of Myself," "A Song For Occupations," "To Think of Time," "The Sleepers," "I Sing the Body Electric," "Faces," "Song of the Answerer," "Europe: The 72d and 73d Years of These States," "A Boston Ballad," "There Was a Child Went Forth," "Who Learns My Lesson Complete?", and "Great Are the Myths." It would go through several editions until his death in 1892 where it reached 400 poems. But this is Whitman at his freshest, and most revolutionary. Especially coming from reading Romantic poets, such as Percy Bysse Shelley and John Keats, it's startling how sensual, personal and earthy these are, how modern they read. Unlike early works of romanticism, there are no elaborate allegories or classical or mythological allusions, this is the poetry of a democratic man, not an aristocrat: “I am large, I contain multitudes.” ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Jun 5, 2013 |
Best read on a sunny September or October day when you're ripe for peak experience, dilation of the soul. Full of promise, power, gusts of the sublime; home.
  franx | Sep 3, 2009 |
I read this book after reading Paper towns by John Green. The main character is reading Leaves of grass in Green's novel, and i found his interpretations helpful. I was making my struggling way through Song of myself when the time came for me to leave for Europe. I took the book with me, and I am exceedingly glad that I did. I read it frequently, and the picturesque scenery combined with Whitman's poetry had a large effect on me. It's a good read, and there are many passages i loved deeply. My copy is a bit battered, I'm afraid, but only in the way of a well loved book, with underlinings and marks throughout. I would recomend this book to anyone, especially if they're planning to travel. ( )
  I_breathe_fantasy | Jan 17, 2009 |
The text of this facsimile of the first edition of Leaves of Grass, published by Whitman in Brooklyn in 1855, is reproduced from a copy in the Library of Yale University. The eight pages of first comments and reviews, added to later copies of the first edition by Whitman and containing a review in The American Phrenological Journal specifically attributed to the poet himself, are from a copy in the collection of The Pierpont Morgan Library. The printed text of the letter Emerson sent to Whitman, a facsimile of one the poet had printed and pasted in the front of a few copies, is from the Library of Brown University. The lettering and ornamentation on the binding have been copied from first editions in the New York Public Library and the Houghton Library of Harvard University.
  Rood | Apr 5, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walt Whitmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corona, MarioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cowley, MalcolmEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
I celebrate myself,And what I assume you shall assume,For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
The original edition of Leaves of Grass had just 95 pages
of poetry, and a lengthy introduction. The only titles were “Leaves
of Grass” or a marker, indicating a new poem. The original book
listed no author, with a small engraving of himself in a loose open
shirt and tipped hat, one hand on hip, the other in his pocket (to
“loafe” at that time meant to be seen idling stylishly about town).
The engraving by Samuel Hollyer was based on a photo by Gabriel
Harrison (a common printing conversion by skilled professionals
in the pre-digital age).
(from the America essay)
America does not repel the past or what it has produced
under its forms or amid other politics or the idea of castes or
the old religions … accepts the lesson with calmness … is not
so impatient as has been supposed that the slough still sticks to
opinions and manners and literature while the life which served
its requirements has passed into the new life of the new forms
… perceives that the corpse is slowly borne from the eating and
sleeping rooms of the house … perceives that it waits a little while
in the door … that it was fittest for its days … that its action has
descended to the stalwart and wellshaped heir who approaches …
and that he shall be fittest for his days.
its forms or amid other politics or the idea of castes or the old
religions…accepts the lesson with calmness…is not so impatient
as has been supposed that the slough still sticks to opinions and
manners and literature while the life which served its requirements
has passed into the new life of the new forms…perceives that the
corpse is slowly borne from the eating and sleeping rooms of the
house…perceives that it waits a little while in the door…that
it was fi ttest for its days…that its action has descended to the
stalwart and wellshaped heir who approaches…and that he shall
be fi ttest for his days.
Quotations
You are also asking me questions, and I hear you;
I answer that I cannot answer … you must find out for yourself.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Whitman significantly revised Leaves of Grass over his lifetime.  This represents those works containing the first edition, originally published in 1855 and consisting of only 12 unnamed poems.

Please do not combine with other editions, particularly the "Deathbed edition", which contains over 400 poems.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
The original edition of Leaves of Grass had just 95 pages of poetry,
and a lengthy introduction. The only titles were “Leaves of Grass”
or a marker, indicating a new poem. The original book listed no
author, with a small engraving of himself in a loose open shirt
and tipped hat, one hand on hip, the other in his pocket (to “loafe”
at that time meant to be seen idling stylishly about town). The
engraving by Samuel Hollyer was based on a photo by Gabriel
Harrison (a common printing conversion by skilled professionals
in the pre-digital age).
Whitman’s experience as editor of the Brooklyn Eagle
observing the American scene and his patroitic bombast of, for
example, the “America” essay that opens this book, led him to use
the longest breath-line in poetry until Allen Ginsberg and Bob
Dylan. This poetic line allowed him to speak as a visionary poet
of Biblical stature with remarkable candor, and he continues to
stand at the center of American literature a hundred years after
his death.
Why should we read the first edition, long before the
famous Lincoln and Civil War poetry? This edition shows the
freshness of Whitman’s creative breakthrough—for the first
time he finds/invents an appropriate form, and he gets a handle
on his true subject. This book marks his emergence from the
wilderness.
Whitman himself designed the book and set the type for
the first edition. He set no poem titles other than the phrase
“Leaves of Grass,” placed at the heads of major sections, and we
follow that design. This reprint edition retains the "universal he" that Whitman used throughout.
The complete text of the 1855 first edition, text of A Backward Glance over Traveled Roads, bibliography, comments and criticism on a number of topics, some on specific poems. 
Though Whitman continued to revise and issue new editions of Leaves of Grass, the original publication remains the most original and ground-breaking version. The America essay is typical of Whitman before Leaves of Grass; making his message into poetry transformed his enthusiasm into readable form.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140421998, Paperback)

This is the original and complete 1855 edition of one of the greatest masterpieces of American literature, including Whitman's own introduction to the work.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:48 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed. ? Ralph Waldo Emerson. Inspired by transcendentalism, Whitman's immortal collection includes some of the greatest poems of modern times, including his masterpiece Song of Myself. Shattering standard conventions of symbolism and allegory, it stands as an unabashed celebration of body and nature.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140421998, 014303927X

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