Synopses & Reviews
Walt Whitman changed American poetry forever. He wrote poems that were open, flowing, charged with bold, passionate energy. He broke all the rules, and though this made him the target of criticism during his lifetime, he quickly emerged as one of America's best known and loved poets. Here, a Columbia University professor of literature and a brilliant young artist bring Whitman's work to life for a new generation. Levin offers a brief biographical sketch and gathers together the most accessible and memorable poems, some of them selections from longer works, along with notes and word definitions that make them easy to follow. He highlights Whitman's love of the land and its diverse people, as in "I Hear American Singing, "his passion for the drama of the sea, and his sense of wonder before the cosmos. We see Whitman's role in the Civil War, in which he served not as a soldier but as a caregiver to the wounded and dying. We discover his sympathetic humanity, his opposition to slavery, and his profound admiration for Abraham Lincoln in the two great mournful elegies, "O Captain! My Captain!" and "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd". Jim Burke's paintings, specially commissioned for this book, are a tour de force, capturing the very soul of Whitman's poetry.
"An outstanding introduction to Whitman's life and work. A biographical sketch and a description of the time period...preface this collection of 26 poems and excerpts. Levin... introduces each selection with pertinent information about its relevance to a larger work, its relationship to Whitman's beliefs, or the symbolism within it... selections are thought provoking, descriptive, and full of emotion. Burke's pastel drawings add to the feelings...and to the emotional impact of each poem...This superb volume can be used to teach literature or to show a variety of poetic devices and style."--School Library Journal. 48 pages (all in color), 8 1/2 x 10.
An outstanding introduction to Whitmans life and work. A biographical sketch and a description of the time period...preface this collection of 26 poems and excerpts. This superb volume can be used to teach literature or to show a variety of poetic devices and style.”School Library Journal. Perhaps the most ambitious attempt to bring poetry to children.”Los Angeles Times.