In response to Ralph Waldo Emerson's call for the United States to have its own unique poet, Walt Whitman rose to the challenge to create what would ultimately be his most profound work. Taking its title from the colloquial term "grass," meaning a work of minor value, Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" is anything but that. Over his lifetime Whitman would continue to expand and revise his most famous book up until his death in 1892. Here in this volume we have reproduced the last edition, commonly referred to as "The Death Bed Edition."
About the Author
Walt Whitman was an American poet and writer born in New York in 1819. Despite his family s financial troubles, Whitman attended school and, after graduating at age eleven, worked in a lawyer s office before becoming a printer s apprentice. Before he had even turned sixteen Whitman began anonymously publishing his poetry at the Long Island Star, where he worked. After leaving the Star, Whitman moved through several jobs including teaching, publishing and typesetting. Eventually, though, Whitman determined to make his living writing poetry, and paid for the first publication of Leaves of Grass himself when he was thirty-seven. At the time of its publication, Leaves of Grass was met with controversy and was criticized for its overtly sexual themes, however, but it has since come to be one of the most important works in early American literature and a product of the transcendentalist movement. Whitman died in 1892 at the age of seventy-two.