Read Leaves of Grass: Authoritative Texts, Prefaces, Whitman on His Art, Criticism by Walt Whitman Free Online
Book Title: Leaves of Grass: Authoritative Texts, Prefaces, Whitman on His Art, Criticism|
The author of the book: Walt Whitman
Edition: W. W. Norton & Company
Date of issue: December 1st 1985
ISBN 13: 9780393093889
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 313 KB
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Ralph Waldo Emerson issued a call for a great poet to capture and immortalize the unique American experience. In 1855, an answer came with Leaves of Grass.
Today, this masterful collection remains not only a seminal event in American literature but also the incomparable achievement of one of America’s greatest poets—an exuberant, passionate man who loved his country and wrote of it as no other has ever done. Walt Whitman was a singer, thinker, visionary, and citizen extraordinaire. Thoreau called Whitman “probably the greatest democrat that ever lived,” and Emerson judged Leaves of Grass as “the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed.”
The text presented here is that of the “Deathbed” or ninth edition of Leaves of Grass, published in 1892. The content and grouping of poems is the version authorized by Whitman himself for the final and complete edition of his masterpiece.
With a foreword by Billy Collins, an afterword by Peter Davison, and a new introduction by Elisabeth Panttaja Brink
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Read information about the authorWalter Whitman was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.
Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War in addition to publishing his poetry. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans (1842).
After working as clerk, teacher, journalist and laborer, Whitman wrote his masterpiece, Leaves of Grass, pioneering free verse poetry in a humanistic celebration of humanity, in 1855. Emerson, whom Whitman revered, said of Leaves of Grass that it held "incomparable things incomparably said." During the Civil War, Whitman worked as an army nurse, later writing Drum Taps (1865) and Memoranda During the War (1867). His health compromised by the experience, he was given work at the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. After a stroke in 1873, which left him partially paralyzed, Whitman lived his next 20 years with his brother, writing mainly prose, such as Democratic Vistas (1870). Leaves of Grass was published in nine editions, with Whitman elaborating on it in each successive edition. In 1881, the book had the compliment of being banned by the commonwealth of Massachusetts on charges of immorality. A good friend of Robert Ingersoll, Whitman was at most a Deist who scorned religion. D. 1892.