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Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass

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Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass

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"Whitman's best poems have that permanent quality of being freshly painted, of not being dulled by the varnish of the years."
--Malcolm Cowley

Synopsis:

"I celebrate myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease...observing a spear of summer grass." So begins "Leaves of Grass", the first great American poem and indeed, to this day, the greatest and most essentially American poem in all our national literature. The publication of "Leaves of Grass" in July, 1855, was a landmark event in literary history. Ralph Waldo Emerson judged the book "the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed." Nothing like the volume had ever appeared before. Everything about it - the unusual jacket and title page, the exuberant preface, the twelve free-flowing, untitled poems embracing every realm of experience - was new. The 1855 edition broke new ground in its relaxed style, which prefigured free verse; in its sexual candor; in its images of racial bonding and democratic togetherness; and in the intensity of its affirmation of the sanctity of the physical world. This Anniversary Edition captures the typeface, design and layout of the original edition supervised by Whitman himself.

Today's readers get a sense of the "ur-text" of "Leaves of Grass", the first version of this historic volume, before Whitman made many revisions of both format and style. The volume also boasts an afterword by Whitman authority David Reynolds, in which he discusses the 1855 edition, in its social and cultural contexts: its background, its reception, and its contributions to literary history. There is also an appendix containing the early responses to the volume, including Emerson's letter, Whitman's three self-reviews, and the twenty other known reviews published in various newspapers and magazines. This special volume will be a must-have keepsake for fans of Whitman and lovers of American poetry.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780486456768: Leaves of Grass: The Original 1855 Edition (Dover Thrift Editions)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0486456765 ISBN 13: 9780486456768
Publisher: Dover Publications Inc., 2007
Softcover

9780241303122: Leaves of Grass: Penguin Pocket Poetry (Penguin Clothbound Poetry)

Pengui..., 2017
Hardcover

9781684125555: Leaves of Grass (Leather-bound Classics)

Canter..., 2018
Hardcover

9780140421996: Leaves of Grass (Penguin Classics)

Pengui..., 1981
Softcover

9780451419170: Leaves of Grass (Signet Classics)

Signet..., 2014
Softcover

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