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Leaves Of Grass is his one book. First published in with only twelve poems, it was greeted by Ralph Waldo Emerson as "the wonderful gift. In that he succeeded. His poems have been woven into the very fabric of the American character. His father—a farmer turned carpenter from whom Whitman acquired his freethinking intellectual and political attitudes—moved his wife and nine children to Brooklyn in The young… More about Walt Whitman.
Join Reader Rewards and earn your way to a free book! Join Reader Rewards and earn points when you purchase this book from your favorite retailer. Read An Excerpt. Paperback 3 —. About Leaves of Grass In , an unknown but wildly ambitious young poet self-published the first edition of Leaves of Grass , consisting of twelve untitled poems and an explanatory preface. About Leaves of Grass Abraham Lincoln read it with approval, but Emily Dickinson described its bold language and themes as "disgraceful.
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About Leaves of Grass One of the great innovative figures in American letters, Walt Whitman created a daringly new kind of poetry that became a major force in world literature. Also in Vintage Classics.
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Related Articles. Looking for More Great Reads? Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. Download Hi Res. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. The letter from Emerson included the now famous line: "I greet you at the beginning of a great career. A year later, in , Whitman released a second edition of the book with a total of thirty-three poems. Over the course of his life, Whitman continued to rework and enlarge the volume, publishing several more editions of the book.
My Captain! A second clip of this poem, recorded on a wax cylinder, is available online at the Whitman archive. Whitman's great subject was America, but he wrote on an expansive variety of smaller subjects to accomplish the task of capturing the essence of this country. Some of his many subjects included slavery, democracy, the processes of reading and writing, the various occupations and types of work, the American landscape, the sea, the natural world, the Civil War, education, aging, death and immortality, poverty, romantic love, spirituality, and social change.
Leaves of Grass: The “Death-Bed” Edition by Walt Whitman, Introduction by William Carlos Williams
Whitman's greatest legacy is his invention of a truly American free verse. His groundbreaking, open, inclusive, and optimistic poems are written in long, sprawling lines and span an astonishing variety of subject matter and points of view—embodying the democratic spirit of his new America. He uses a number of literary devices to accomplish his work.
Although written in free verse, meaning that it is not strictly metered or rhymed, sections of Leaves of Grass approach iambic meter , which is the same meter as in a traditional sonnet as in, "Come live with me and be my love". Since iambics closely mimic the patterns of natural speech and are pleasing to the ear, Whitman used them for sections of his poems, without exclusively writing metered verse.
Whitman's " catalogs ," or lists, are used in many of his poems to indicate the breadth of types of people, situation, or objects in a particular poem. Whitman's mastery of the catalog has caused critics to praise his endless generative powers, his seeming ability to cycle through hundreds of images while avoiding repetition and producing astounding variety and newness. Anaphora is a literary device used by Whitman which employs the repetition of a first word in each phrase; for example, each line will begin with "and.
Whitman's poetics also rely on careful control of the indicative and imperative moods described in a recommended essay by Galway Kinnell; see the Suggested Reading. The critical and popular response to Leaves of Grass was mixed and bewildered. Leaves of Grass was most harshly criticized because Whitman's free verse didn't fit into the existing British model of poetry, which was a tradition of rhyme, meter, and structure.
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One critic noted, in an review in Life Illustrated , "It is like no other book that ever was written, and therefore, the language usually employed in notices of new publications is unavailable in describing it. He may turn out the least of a braggart of all, having a better right to be confident. His crudity is an exceeding great stench, but it is America.
He is the hollow place in the rock that echoes with the time. He does 'chant the crucial stage' and he is the 'voice triumphant.
Leaves of Grass: The Complete Deathbed Edition - AbeBooks - Walt Whitman:
He is an exceedingly nauseating pill, but he accomplishes his mission. With the upcoming th anniversary, America's poets and critics have found unmediated love for our most American poet, the man who came to shape our ideas of nationhood, democracy, and freedom. Materials for Teachers Materials for Teachers Home.