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Leaves of Grass (1855)

by Walt Whitman, Lawrence Clark Powell (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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9,00073716 (4.11)1 / 304
This edition is based on the venerable Norton Critical Edition of Leaves of Grass (1973), edited by the late Scully Bradley and Harold Blodgett.

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English (60)  Spanish (7)  Italian (2)  Romanian (1)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
A collection of poetry, first presented as a group of 12 poems published anonymously in 1855. It was followed by five revised and three reissued editions during the author’s lifetime. Poems not published in his lifetime were added in 1897. The unconventional and expansive language and subjects of the poems exerted a strong influence on American and foreign literature but also led to the book’s suppression on charges of indecency.

The first edition included noted poems such as “Song of Myself” and “I Sing the Body Electric,” celebrating the beauty of the human body, physical health, and sexual passion. In a preface that was deleted from later editions, Whitman maintained that a poet’s style should be simple and natural, without orthodox metre or rhyme, like an animal or tree in harmony with its environment.

Among the 122 new poems in the third edition (1860–61) were Whitman’s “Calamus” poems, which record an intense homosexual love affair. His Civil War poems, Drum-Taps (1865) and Sequel to Drum-Taps (1865), were included in the fourth edition (1867). The seventh edition (1881–82) grouped the poems in their final order, and the eighth edition (1889) incorporated his November Boughs (1888). “Garrulous to the very last” (as he wrote), he contemplated death yet also wrote buoyant poems for his ninth, “deathbed” edition (1891–92). ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Jan 13, 2022 |
I'm enjoying this book of poetry just fine, but I've been slowly reading it for over a month now, and I keep forgetting that it even exists because I want to read other books way more than this one. So, I think that's the universe's way of telling me to put this down for now. I'll probably pick it back up in the future. ( )
  FiraHunter | Nov 14, 2021 |
I'm just going to say it: Walt Whitman was the King of List Poems. (At least, that's how I think of them.)

He does tend to get repetitive after a while, so I certainly wasn't able to read this in one sitting... But I've always thought that poetry was meant to be savored a little at a time.

Whitman will never be one of my favorite poets, but he certainly excelled at his craft. I enjoyed seeing the evolution of his writing as his life progressed, especially since he kept adding on to Leaves of Grass every so often.

My favorite of his poems will always be "Song of the Open Road" and "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed." I found a few more I really enjoy upon completion of this book though: "A Clear Midnight," "Out of May's Shows Selected," "The Voice of the Rain," and "A Prairie Sunset."

Whitman is a classic American poet and I'm glad I finally took the time to read this seminal work. I can't say I'll ever read it in its entirety again, but I'll definitely occasionally enjoy the poems I mentioned when my mood suits! ( )
  bookwyrmqueen | Oct 25, 2021 |
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
Some beauty scattered throughout and one of those books with lots of 'aha' moments where you realise you've seen references in popular culture but didn't understand the source. ( )
  brakketh | Jul 31, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Whitman's verse-technique is still of interest to the prosodist. His basic rhythm is an epic one—the Virgilian dactyl-spondee—and his line often hexametric. He sometimes sounds like Clough's Amours de Voyage, though it would be hard to imagine a greater disparity of tone and attitude than that which subsists between these two Victorians. Nevertheless, both Clough and Whitman saw that the loose hexameter could admit the contemporary and sometimes the colloquial..

He has only one subject—acceptance of the life-death cycle and reverence for it—and, since he uses an invariable technique, Leaves of Grass has a unity to be found in few other poets' collected volumes... But Whitman's aim is rather to present a universal democratic vista in terms of the American myth. The America of his poems sometimes seems as symbolic as that of Blake, and the bearded figure that strides across it with a big hello—the Answerer, all things to all men—is as much a home-made archetype as the Giant Albion.
added by SnootyBaronet | editObserver, Anthony Burgess
Nature may have given the hint to the author of the "Leaves of Grass", but there exists no book or fragment of a book, which can have given the hint to them. All beauty, he says, comes from beautiful blood and a beautiful brain... Who then is that insolent unknown? Who is it, praising himself as if others were not fit to do it, and coming rough and unbidden among writers to unsettle what was settled, and to revolutionize, in fact, our modern civilization?

You have come in good time, Walt Whitman! In opinions, in manners, in costumes, in books, in the aims and occupancy of life, in associates, in poems, conformity to all unnatural and tainted customs passes without remark, while perfect naturalness, health, faith, self-reliance, and all primal expressions of the manliest love and friendship, subject one to the stare and controversy of the world.
added by SnootyBaronet | editThe United States Review, Walt Whitman (Sep 1, 1855)

» Add other authors (151 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walt Whitmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Powell, Lawrence ClarkEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, Gay WilsonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Angelo, ValentiIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Babcock, Clarence MertonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cullen, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniel, Lewis C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holloway, EmoryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaplan, JustinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kent, RockwellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kouwenhoven, John A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loving, JeromeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spanfeller, JimIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
First words
One's-self I sing, a simple separate person,
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-masse.
I celebrate myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you.
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.
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
Last words
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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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Wikipedia in English (1)

This edition is based on the venerable Norton Critical Edition of Leaves of Grass (1973), edited by the late Scully Bradley and Harold Blodgett.

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Book description
Un ritratto, un testo in prosa e dodici poesie: così nascevano nel 1855, le prime "Foglie d'erba", in cui Emerson ravvisò immediatamente "l'esempio più straordinario di intelligenza e di saggezza che l'America abbia sin qui offerto". Le "Foglie" avrebbero continuato a crescere per il resto della vita di Whitman, attraverso otto ulteriori edizioni, fino a diventare quel massiccio, monumentale volume che l'autore consacrò, "sul letto di morte", come definitivo e inalterabile. Ma è nel 1855 che, con le prime "Foglie", nasce un poeta. E' qui che Whitman supera i vincoli formali di metro, rima, strofa, punteggiatura, per affidarsi a un vagabondaggio della mente e dei sensi.
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014303927X, 0451529731

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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