Essential Whitman

Essential Whitman

by Walt Whitman
     
 

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From the introduction by Galway Kinnell:

The poems of Walt Whitman meant little to me when I read them in high school and college. Luckily, when I was teaching at the University of Grenoble in my late twenties, I was required to give a course on Whitman. My experience of Leaves of Grass then was intense. . . . Soon I understood that poetry could be

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Overview

From the introduction by Galway Kinnell:

The poems of Walt Whitman meant little to me when I read them in high school and college. Luckily, when I was teaching at the University of Grenoble in my late twenties, I was required to give a course on Whitman. My experience of Leaves of Grass then was intense. . . . Soon I understood that poetry could be transcendent, hymn-like, a cosmic song, and yet remain idolatrously attached to the creatures and things of our world. . . . Once again, as when I first began writing, it seemed it might be possible to say everything in poetry.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060887926
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/14/2006
Series:
Essential Poets Series, #2
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,363,783
Product dimensions:
4.50(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.52(d)

Read an Excerpt

Song of Myself: A Poem of Walt Whitman, an American

1

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.

2

Houses and rooms are full of perfumes-the shelves are crowded with
perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself, and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.

The atmosphere is not a perfume--it has no taste of the distillation,
it is odorless,
It is for my mouth forever--I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood, and become undisguised and naked,
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

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