I Hear America Singing

Overview

Walt Whitman (1819-92) is the authentic voice of democratic America. After a childhood in Brooklyn, he spent many years in and around Manhattan and Washington, where he witnessed troops returning from the Civil War and tended wounded soldiers in the camp hospitals.

Whitman's broad humanity, his love of cities (especially Manhattan), his sympathy with all conditions of people, and his visionary - even prophetic - sense of the reality of the American dream make him as much a poet ...

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I Hear America Singing

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Overview

Walt Whitman (1819-92) is the authentic voice of democratic America. After a childhood in Brooklyn, he spent many years in and around Manhattan and Washington, where he witnessed troops returning from the Civil War and tended wounded soldiers in the camp hospitals.

Whitman's broad humanity, his love of cities (especially Manhattan), his sympathy with all conditions of people, and his visionary - even prophetic - sense of the reality of the American dream make him as much a poet for our time as he was for the time of the American Civil War and its aftermath.

This selection of courageous and consoling poems focuses on Whitman's vision of democracy, his love of Manhattan, his sense of the future - and of the community of peoples of this earth.

Whitman's famous poem, accompanied by linoleum-cut illustrations, depicts people at work all over an earlier America.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-- Sabuda's bouyant linoleum-cuts are truly worth singing about. They celebrate Whitman's words; each of the 11 lines is given its own double-page spread, which barely contains its action. The varied perspectives, rich contrasting colors and the use of shadow, and powerful figures capture a nation in motion, laboring. The depiction of 19th-century American life is colorful and romantic--from riverboats (``the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck'') to rivermen (``The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat''), to cities and rural workers. The whole poem is printed on the back page over an evening sunset and crescent moon. Whitman is a genuine, celebratory American voice. This poem from his Leaves of Grass is given a treatment that underlines its upbeat tone. The fact that the time and the man were more complicated belongs to another book. Readers wishing to learn more of the range of Whitman's work should read Voyages (HBJ, 1988), a sensitive collection edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins. This one lifts the heart as well as the voice. --Kathleen Whalin, formerly at Public Library of Columbus and Franklin County, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756780975
  • Publisher: DIANE Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Pages: 30
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years

Meet the Author


Born 1819 in Long Island, New York, Whitman began working at the early age of 13, having left school the year before. He was an office boy, then a printer's assistant on several of the newspapers around New York. Occasionally he contributed articles to the papers, writing some of the earliest reports of baseball games. From 1836-1841 he taught in schools in the Long Island area, then founded and edited the newspaper "The Long Islander" from 1836-1841. Later he worked as as editor of the paper "Brooklyn Eagle", though he was fired because of his antislavery views. It wasn't until 1848 that he began seriously to apply himself to poetry, self-publishing "Leaves of Grass", a compilation of 12 of his poems. This drew the praise of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who proclaimed in a letter to Whitman: "I greet you at the beginning of a new career,". Whitman published a second volume of poems, "Drum Taps", in 1865, which was better received by the public. Whitman died in Camden in 1892.
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