Introduction - i: Introduction Unit - 1: Inscriptions Chapter - 1: To Foreign Lands Chapter - 2: Song of Myself Chapter - 3: When I Read The Book Chapter - 4: To The States Chapter - 4: Shut Not Your Doors Unit - 2: Children of Adam Chapter - 1: I Sing the Body Electric Chapter - 2: A Woman Waits for Me Unit - 3: Calamus Chapter - 1: In Paths Untrodden Chapter - 2: Scented Herbage of my Breast Chapter - 3: Whoever You are Holding Me Now in Hand Chapter - 4: For You O Democracy Chapter - 5: The Base of All Metaphysics Chapter - 6: Recorders Ages Hence Chapter - 7: When I Heard at the Close of Day Chapter - 8: Are You the New Person Drawn toward Me Chapter - 9: I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing Chapter - 10: To a Stranger Chapter - 11: This Moment Yearning and Thoughtful Chapter - 12: I Hear it was Charged Against Me Chapter - 13: When I Peruse the Conquer'd Flame Chapter - 14: We Two Boys together Clinging Chapter - 15: No Labor-Saving Machine Chapter - 16: A Glimpse Chapter - 17: What Think You I Take Pen in Hand? Chapter - 18: Sometimes with One I Love Chapter - 19: Song of the Open Road Chapter - 20: Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Unit - 4: Birds of Passage Chapter - 1: Pioneers! O Pioneers! Unit - 5: Sea Drift Chapter - 1: Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking Unit - 6: By the Roadside Chapter - 1: When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer Unit - 7: Drum Taps Chapter - 1: Beat! Beat! Drums! Chapter - 2: Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night Chapter - 3: The Wound-Dresser Chapter - 4: The Artilleryman's Vision Chapter - 5: O Tan-Faced Prairie Boy Chapter - 6: How Solemn as One by One Chapter - 7: As I Lay with My Head in Your Lap Camerado Chapter - 8: Spirit Whose Work is Done Unit - 8: Memoirs of President Lincoln Chapter - 1: When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd Chapter - 2: O Captain! My Captain! Chapter - 3: Hush'd be the Camps To-day Chapter - 4: By Blue Ontario's Shores Unit - 9: Autumn Rivulets Chapter - 1: There was a Child went Forth Chapter - 2: The City Dead-House Chapter - 3: Passage to India Chapter - 4: Prayer of Columbus Chapter - 5: The Sleepers Unit - 10: Whispers of Heavenly Death Chapter - 1: A Noiseless Patient Spider Unit - 11: From Noon to Starry Night Chapter - 1: The Mystic Trumpeter Unit - 12: Annex to Sands at Seventy Chapter - 1: As I Sit Writing Here Chapter - 2: Queries to My Seventieth Year Chapter - 3: Old Salt Kossabone Index - ii: Index of Poem Titles Index - iii: Index of First Lines
A selection of Walt Whitman's groundbreaking poetry edited and introduced by Professor Bridget Bennett.
Walt Whitman was born in Long Island on 31 May 1819 to Walter Whitman, a carpenter and farmer, and Louisa Van Velsor Whitman. Walt was one of eight siblings and was taken out of school at the age of eleven to start work, but he continued to read voraciously and visit museums. He worked first as a printer, then briefly as a teacher before settling on a career in journalism. He self-published the first version of Leaves of Grass, which consisted of only twelve poems, in 1855. By the time he died in 1892, and despite arousing considerable controversy, he enjoyed unprecedented international success and to this day is considered to be one of America's greatest poets.
There is no one in this great wide world of America whom I love and
honour so much -- Oscar Wilde
I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of Leaves of Grass. I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has ever produced -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Whitman, the great poet, has meant so much to me. Whitman the one man breaking a way ahead. Whitman the one pioneer . . . Ahead of Whitman, nothing. Ahead of all poets, pioneering into the wilderness of unopened life, Whitman. Beyond him, none -- D. H. Lawrence
His [Whitman's] Song of Himself was a song for humanity, too. And in spite of all that has happened since, it still echoes here * Independent *
Whitman had a fluid personality that made him able to "merge" invisibly, and with great empathy, with the images of other people and events that lodged in his mind . . . unprecedented assembling of rhythm, sound, language and images * New York Times *
[Leaves of Grass is] more about the pandemic of possibility, a fever rush of extraordinary beauty in the face of all the available evidence. -- Colum McCann * The Week *