In his quest for a truly native idiom, Walt Whitman (1819-1892) incarnated the American geography and its people in a new and transcendent poetic form. His monumental work, Leaves of Grass, celebrates sexuality, gender equality, and the astonishing beauty of the everyday. For Whitman, "The true use for the imaginative faculty of modern times is to give ultimate vivification to facts, to science and to common lives, endowing them with glows and glories and final illustriousness which belong to real things, and to real things only."
This complete edition of Leaves of Grass, which includes "Sands at Seventy" (from November Boughs) and "Good-bye My Fancy," contains those poems that have become part of the great American literature, including "Song of Myself," "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd," "I Sing the Body Electric," and "O Captain, My Captain.
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.