Leaves of Grass

Leaves of Grass

3.7 244
by Walt Whitman
     
 

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Whitman is today regarded as America's Homer or Dante, and his work the touchstone for literary originality in the New World. In Leaves of Grass, he abandoned the rules of traditional poetry - breaking the standard metered line, discarding the obligatory rhyming scheme, and using the vernacular. Emily Dickinson condemned his sexual and physiological

Overview


Whitman is today regarded as America's Homer or Dante, and his work the touchstone for literary originality in the New World. In Leaves of Grass, he abandoned the rules of traditional poetry - breaking the standard metered line, discarding the obligatory rhyming scheme, and using the vernacular. Emily Dickinson condemned his sexual and physiological allusions as 'disgraceful', but Emerson saw the book as the 'most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed'. A century later it is his judgment of this autobiographical vision of the vigor of the American nation that has proved the more enduring.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A selection of the writings of Whitman from the volumes , , , , , , , , , , , , and others. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
"Whitman's best poems have that permanent quality of being freshly painted, of not being dulled by the varnish of the years."
—Malcolm Cowley

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199539000
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
02/15/2009
Series:
Oxford World's Classics Series
Pages:
512
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

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.

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

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Leaves of Grass 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 244 reviews.
TeenHorror More than 1 year ago
This was one of the first books I downloaded for the Nook and was pretty disappointed to see that the formatting is really messed up. It looks better in small type size, but on medium it will make incorrect line breaks, which is often disastrous to the poetry. On any size type it will never make indentions to show that a line is continued. I haven't downloaded any other poetry on nook so I'm not sure if this is a widespread issue or an isolated one.
John-Gregory-67 More than 1 year ago
As others say here I was very disappointed that my first e book experience had to be this one. The formating is all wrong. The line breaks are wrong and there are no hanging indentations which Whitman used a lot of. I would urge anyone to read Leaves of Grass, but not this copy. B and N should fix this. Whitman deserves better.
Wampa More than 1 year ago
My favorite work of poetry. Captures everything I feel about the world. I love reading this outdoors!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey guys. Can you please find some other way to roleplay with each other? I'm not dissing roleplaying at all! I'm a teen just like you who enjoys a good rpg every once in a while. What I DON'T enjoy is a bunch of you guys taking over a space like this that is meant for something else, like reviewing a book. The reviw button is meant for giving your helpful oppinion on a book, not messaging back and forth. Try texting each other or using a site like Facebook, or somewhere else that has messaging capabilities. The other readers would really appreciate it! Thanks! -Ashlee
Daniel Greene More than 1 year ago
This really is painful to read on the NOOKcolor since the line wrapping was never reformatted to reflow as font size is adjusted. The reviewer before me warned of this problem but I wasnt able to see the poems because the whole sample consisted of foreword. Dumb question, but can I get my $$ back?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Uncle Walt was considered one of the greatest poets in American History, but I would have to say he is the biggest disappointment in Literature. Leaves of Grass (Bowels of Gas) is so boring it could put you to sleep in the middle of a raging battlefield. I recall him writing a review on Poe, stating Edgar was a nothing, well, (laughing) guess what, no one reads Whitman anymore, yet, Poe is taught in every literature class. The only GOOD thing Whitman ever wrote was, 'Oh Captain, my Captain.' The rest is pure garbage. So, unless you need a good sleeping pill to knock you out, don't bother buying/reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whitman didn't begin writing great poetry- or much of anything at all- before he 'came out,' to himself, in the sexual sense, but also in the greater exploratory and transcendent sense. His best poems are those in which he embraces even death and decimation- as the same life that exists within birth and beauty. Whitman arguably has no actual 'art'- only the kind of originary, inexplicable, uncopyable art that a few others had, for one, Shakespeare.
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