Synopses & Reviews
In 1855 Walt Whitman published Leaves of Grass, the work that defined him as one of America’s most influential voices and that he added to throughout his life. A collection of astonishing originality and intensity, it spoke of politics, sexual emancipation, and what it meant to be an American. From the joyful “Song of Myself” and “I Sing the Body Electric” to the elegiac “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” Whitman’s art fuses oratory, journalism, and song in a vivid celebration of humanity. Containing all Whitman’s known poetic work, this edition reprints the final, or “deathbed,” edition of Leaves of Grass (1891–92). Earlier versions of many poems are also given, including the 1855 “Song of Myself.”
- Features a completely new—and fuller—introduction discussing the development of Whitman's poetic career, his influence on later American poets, and his impact on the American cultural sensibility
- Includes chronology, updated suggestions for further reading, and extensive notes
About the Author
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was born on Long Island and educated in Brooklyn, New York. He served as a printer's devil, journeyman compositor, itinerant schoolteacher, editor, and unofficial nurse to Northern and Southern soldiers.
Francis Murphy is professor emeritus of English at Smith College.