Leaves Of Grass

Leaves Of Grass

4.0 136
by Walt Whitman

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As Malcolm Cowley says in his Introduction, the first edition of Leaves of Grass "might be called the buried masterpiece of American writing," for it exhibits "Whitman at his best, Whitman at his freshest in vision and boldest in language, Whitman transformed by a new experience." Cowley has taken the first edition from its narrow circulation among scholars,…  See more details below


As Malcolm Cowley says in his Introduction, the first edition of Leaves of Grass "might be called the buried masterpiece of American writing," for it exhibits "Whitman at his best, Whitman at his freshest in vision and boldest in language, Whitman transformed by a new experience." Cowley has taken the first edition from its narrow circulation among scholars, faithfully edited it, added his own Introduction and Whitman's original Introduction (which never appeared in any other edition during Whitman's life), and returned it to the common readership for whom the great poet intended it.

Editorial Reviews

A selection of the writings of Whitman from the volumes , , , , , , , , , , , , and others. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Daniel Joyce
“This uncensored new edition of Leaves Of Grass is quite simply the most unambiguously clear-eyed version of Walt Whitman’s anthem to bisexuality and independence ever published…”
—Daniel Joyce

Product Details

Simon & Brown
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
0.85(w) x 9.00(h) x 6.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Leaves of Grass

By Walt Whitman Pomona Press

Copyright © 2006 Walt Whitman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781406792256

One's Self I Sing

One's-Self I sing, a simple separate person,
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse.

Of physiology from top to toe I sing,
Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the Muse, I say the Form complete is worthier far,
The Female equally with the Male I sing.

Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,
Cheerful, for freest action form'd under the laws divine,
The Modern Man I sing.

As I Ponder'd in Silence

As I ponder'd in silence,
Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long,
A Phantom arose before me with distrustful aspect,
Terrible in beauty, age, and power,
The genius of poets of old lands,
As to me directing like flame its eyes,
With finger pointing to many immortal songs,
And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said,
Know'st thou not there is hut one theme for ever-enduring bards?
And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles,
The making of perfect soldiers.

Be it so, then I answer'd.
I too haughty Shade also sing war, and a longer and greater one than any,
Waged in my book with varying fortune, with flight, advance and retreat, victory deferr'd and wavering,
(Yet methinks certain, or as good as certain,at the last,) the field the world,
For life and death., for the Body and for the eternal Soul,
Lo, I too am come, chanting the chant of battles,
I above all promote brave soldiers.


Excerpted from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman Copyright © 2006 by Walt Whitman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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What People are saying about this

Malcolm Cowley
Whitman's best poems have that permanent quality of being freshly painted, of not being dulled by the varnish of the years. Reading them a century after their publication, one feels the same shock and wonder and delight that Emerson felt when opening his presentation copy of the first edition. They carry us into a new world that Whitman discovered as if this very morning... After reading all of Leaves of Grass as Whitman wished it to be preserved and after being won over by what I think is the best of it... I am willing to join the consensus that regards him as our most rewarding poet.

Meet the Author

Walt Whitman was born on Long Island, New York in 1819. He spent most of his early life in Brooklyn where he served as editor for a number of newspapers for brief periods. His first major work, Leaves of Grass, was published in 1855 and was subsequently published in nine enlarged editions throughout his lifetime. In 1862 in the midst of the Civil War, Whitman set out for the battlefield to find his wounded brother and continued to volunteer in hospitals throughout the length of the war. He died in 1892.

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Leaves of grass 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 136 reviews.
Susannah Clark More than 1 year ago
This book is not formatted at all. Each poem is one long paragraph, and there are not even extra returns after each poem; they all run together. It may not cost much, but it's still a waste of money.
UtahDesiree More than 1 year ago
Walt started it all and still continues to show his relevance with every passing decade. A life time poet who will always have my heart!
TamikaH2003 More than 1 year ago
while the formatting is awful it doesn't necessarily detract from the outstanding poetry that Walt W. has left us to ponder and love!
chillbillpill More than 1 year ago
I've always compared poetry to music lyrics. And like many albums, often there are just one or two songs which are really, really good. This book fits that model for me. It has a few very memorable poems, but several which, while not bad, require more work to derive the meaning. Still, for anyone interested beautiful language artfully arranged to create mental landscapes, this book is for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Confusing at first....but if you understand the life of vocabulary or hav a dictionary in handy yiure good to go....overall this book is five star worthy.
doncatalog More than 1 year ago
A friend of mine said she just didn't get poetry. It was Walt that invigorated her to dig deeper. Now she is a poetry lover.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this in hope that it wasn't as poorly formatted as other free poetry. I was wrong. If anything it was worse. Lines ran together, there was random punctuation, and none of the poems were separated. I woul not recommend this at all. I found it to be a waste of time no matter how free it was. Splurge a little and spend a dollar on a better version. You especially don't want to use this version for study as it will take you so much time t simply decifer, let alon study it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very insperational to me
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Walt Whitman's poems are sensational!I fell in love with his poems and now I read them all the time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read much poetry in the past 20+ years, including Walt¿s, and I still like his poetry very much. If you read Walt¿s poems before, then you know he¿s a great Poet. If you haven¿t read any of his work, then this is a good book to start off reading his poetic works.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whitman is the great American poet, the one whose spirit encompasses the vast catalogue of a continent in expansion. His language has a hypnotic rhythmic quality, and the colloquial collector of his own heightened perceptions is too a most sympathetic unraveler of the human soul. Apparently wound-dresser Whitman was a first - rate human being as well. There are parts of ' Leaves of Grass' I believe 'When I Heard the Learned Astronomer ' is one which belong in the Canon of Mankind , and will sing to us down through the 'Ages'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Leaves Of Grass is our American Master peice! He took poetry to a more complex level, simple free verse written from his soul. He was the first poet to inspire me as a poet.Each leaf falls from the tree of monumental size.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want to know where free verse and modern poetry began, then look no further, it all began with Whitman. I remember the first time I read Song Of Myself; it was sheer joy. I had discovered another country, and believe me, I often go there when I need spiritual sustenance and refreshment. A great poet was this man, Walt Whitman.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This edition of The Leaves of Grass, first published in 1855, contains 12 poems, compared with the final, or deathbed edition of 1892, which contains hundreds. But this is Whitman at his best, with a vision so inclusive as to astonish. I believe this book to be one of the world's greatest spiritual texts - surprised? Read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Walt Whitman is one of the most influential and talented poets in the history of American Literature. His poems are beautiful and can easily be related to today. His ideas are romantic, almost transendental. Leaves of Grass is and will remain a favorite of this teenager.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Format was extremely frustrating on my nook glowlight
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For what?
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
I had forgotten how much I love Walt Whitman. This copy of the first edition of Leaves of Grass has most of my favorite of his poems - if you have read or memorized from a later edition, much of the wording is different. Some of the poems have an entirely different slant - I prefer the original to those altered over time.... I treated myself to this and several other 'old favorites' when I got my income tax refund this year. Between the garden and Goodreads Giveaways I do not have the time I had for self-indulgent reading! This is one I will read more often.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
do you have an older brother called matthew who goes to a private school and you went to this camp called rec pac?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She's also not very strong... she's weak and not good at much. Scared, blind, weak, but very beautiful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very nice reading when time permits me to think upon the common events of life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago