Walt Whitman is America’s world poet—a latter-day successor to Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare. In Leaves of Grass (1855, 1892), he celebrated democracy, nature, love, and friendship. This monumental work chanted praises to the body as well as to the soul, and found beauty and...

Walt Whitman is America’s world poet—a latter-day successor to Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare. In Leaves of Grass (1855, 1892), he celebrated democracy, nature, love, and friendship. This monumental work chanted praises to the body as well as to the soul, and found beauty and...

“Who, could possibly make another selection [of Walt Whitman] seem fresh? Who is definitely Harold Bloom, dean of American literary critics, who considers Whitman ‘the principal writer that America—North, Central, or South—has brought to us.’ . . Bloom connects Whitman’s project to the thesis of his The American Religion (1992) that the tendency of religion in America is to replace God with man, and with the fragments, Bloom presents explicit evidence of the attempt.”— Booklist

American literature and culture are inconceivable without the towering presence of Walt Whitman. Expansive, ecstatic, original in ways that continue to startle and to elicit new discoveries, Whitman’s poetry is a testament to the surging energies of 19th-century America and a monument to the transforming power of literary genius. His incantatory rhythms, revolutionary sense of Eros, and generous, all-embracing vision invite renewed wonder at each reading. Although he has been a defining influence for many poets——Garcia Lorca, Fernando Pessoa, Robinson Jeffers, and Allen Ginsberg——his style is ultimately inimitable, and his achievement unsurpassed in American poetry.

“One always wants to start out fresh with Whitman,” writes Harold Bloom in his introduction, “and read him as though he never has been read before.” In a selection that ranges from early notebook fragments and the complete “Song of Myself” to the valedictory “Good-bye My Fancy!,” Bloom has chosen 47 works to represent “the principal writer that America——North, Central, or South——has brought to us.”

Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Although the first edition was published in 1855, Whitman spent most of his professional life writing and re-writing Leaves of Grass , [1] revising it multiple times until his death. This resulted in vastly different editions over four decades—the first a small book of twelve poems and the last a compilation of over 400.

With one exception, the poems do not rhyme or follow standard rules for meter and line length. Among the poems in the collection are " Song of Myself ", " I Sing the Body Electric ", and " Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking ". Later editions included Whitman's elegy to the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln , " When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd ".

Leaves of Grass was highly controversial during its time for its explicit sexual imagery, and Whitman was subject to derision by many contemporary critics. Over time, however, the collection has infiltrated popular culture and been recognized as one of the central works of American poetry.

Walt Whitman is America’s world poet—a latter-day successor to Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare. In Leaves of Grass (1855, 1892), he celebrated democracy, nature, love, and friendship. This monumental work chanted praises to the body as well as to the soul, and found beauty and...

“Who, could possibly make another selection [of Walt Whitman] seem fresh? Who is definitely Harold Bloom, dean of American literary critics, who considers Whitman ‘the principal writer that America—North, Central, or South—has brought to us.’ . . Bloom connects Whitman’s project to the thesis of his The American Religion (1992) that the tendency of religion in America is to replace God with man, and with the fragments, Bloom presents explicit evidence of the attempt.”— Booklist

American literature and culture are inconceivable without the towering presence of Walt Whitman. Expansive, ecstatic, original in ways that continue to startle and to elicit new discoveries, Whitman’s poetry is a testament to the surging energies of 19th-century America and a monument to the transforming power of literary genius. His incantatory rhythms, revolutionary sense of Eros, and generous, all-embracing vision invite renewed wonder at each reading. Although he has been a defining influence for many poets——Garcia Lorca, Fernando Pessoa, Robinson Jeffers, and Allen Ginsberg——his style is ultimately inimitable, and his achievement unsurpassed in American poetry.

“One always wants to start out fresh with Whitman,” writes Harold Bloom in his introduction, “and read him as though he never has been read before.” In a selection that ranges from early notebook fragments and the complete “Song of Myself” to the valedictory “Good-bye My Fancy!,” Bloom has chosen 47 works to represent “the principal writer that America——North, Central, or South——has brought to us.”

Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Although the first edition was published in 1855, Whitman spent most of his professional life writing and re-writing Leaves of Grass , [1] revising it multiple times until his death. This resulted in vastly different editions over four decades—the first a small book of twelve poems and the last a compilation of over 400.

With one exception, the poems do not rhyme or follow standard rules for meter and line length. Among the poems in the collection are " Song of Myself ", " I Sing the Body Electric ", and " Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking ". Later editions included Whitman's elegy to the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln , " When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd ".

Leaves of Grass was highly controversial during its time for its explicit sexual imagery, and Whitman was subject to derision by many contemporary critics. Over time, however, the collection has infiltrated popular culture and been recognized as one of the central works of American poetry.

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound


O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.


O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills; 10
For you bouquets and ...

Walt Whitman is America’s world poet—a latter-day successor to Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare. In Leaves of Grass (1855, 1892), he celebrated democracy, nature, love, and friendship. This monumental work chanted praises to the body as well as to the soul, and found beauty and...

“Who, could possibly make another selection [of Walt Whitman] seem fresh? Who is definitely Harold Bloom, dean of American literary critics, who considers Whitman ‘the principal writer that America—North, Central, or South—has brought to us.’ . . Bloom connects Whitman’s project to the thesis of his The American Religion (1992) that the tendency of religion in America is to replace God with man, and with the fragments, Bloom presents explicit evidence of the attempt.”— Booklist

American literature and culture are inconceivable without the towering presence of Walt Whitman. Expansive, ecstatic, original in ways that continue to startle and to elicit new discoveries, Whitman’s poetry is a testament to the surging energies of 19th-century America and a monument to the transforming power of literary genius. His incantatory rhythms, revolutionary sense of Eros, and generous, all-embracing vision invite renewed wonder at each reading. Although he has been a defining influence for many poets——Garcia Lorca, Fernando Pessoa, Robinson Jeffers, and Allen Ginsberg——his style is ultimately inimitable, and his achievement unsurpassed in American poetry.

“One always wants to start out fresh with Whitman,” writes Harold Bloom in his introduction, “and read him as though he never has been read before.” In a selection that ranges from early notebook fragments and the complete “Song of Myself” to the valedictory “Good-bye My Fancy!,” Bloom has chosen 47 works to represent “the principal writer that America——North, Central, or South——has brought to us.”

Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Although the first edition was published in 1855, Whitman spent most of his professional life writing and re-writing Leaves of Grass , [1] revising it multiple times until his death. This resulted in vastly different editions over four decades—the first a small book of twelve poems and the last a compilation of over 400.

With one exception, the poems do not rhyme or follow standard rules for meter and line length. Among the poems in the collection are " Song of Myself ", " I Sing the Body Electric ", and " Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking ". Later editions included Whitman's elegy to the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln , " When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd ".

Leaves of Grass was highly controversial during its time for its explicit sexual imagery, and Whitman was subject to derision by many contemporary critics. Over time, however, the collection has infiltrated popular culture and been recognized as one of the central works of American poetry.

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Walt Whitman is America’s world poet—a latter-day successor to Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare. In Leaves of Grass (1855, 1892), he celebrated democracy, nature, love, and friendship. This monumental work chanted praises to the body as well as to the soul, and found beauty and...

“Who, could possibly make another selection [of Walt Whitman] seem fresh? Who is definitely Harold Bloom, dean of American literary critics, who considers Whitman ‘the principal writer that America—North, Central, or South—has brought to us.’ . . Bloom connects Whitman’s project to the thesis of his The American Religion (1992) that the tendency of religion in America is to replace God with man, and with the fragments, Bloom presents explicit evidence of the attempt.”— Booklist

American literature and culture are inconceivable without the towering presence of Walt Whitman. Expansive, ecstatic, original in ways that continue to startle and to elicit new discoveries, Whitman’s poetry is a testament to the surging energies of 19th-century America and a monument to the transforming power of literary genius. His incantatory rhythms, revolutionary sense of Eros, and generous, all-embracing vision invite renewed wonder at each reading. Although he has been a defining influence for many poets——Garcia Lorca, Fernando Pessoa, Robinson Jeffers, and Allen Ginsberg——his style is ultimately inimitable, and his achievement unsurpassed in American poetry.

“One always wants to start out fresh with Whitman,” writes Harold Bloom in his introduction, “and read him as though he never has been read before.” In a selection that ranges from early notebook fragments and the complete “Song of Myself” to the valedictory “Good-bye My Fancy!,” Bloom has chosen 47 works to represent “the principal writer that America——North, Central, or South——has brought to us.”


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