On Whitman

On Whitman

5.0 2
by C. K. Williams
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691144729

ISBN-13: 9780691144726

Pub. Date: 04/07/2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet C. K. Williams sets aside the mass of biography and literary criticism that has accumulated around the work and person of Walt Whitman, and attempts to go back to Leaves of Grass as he first encountered it, to explore why Whitman's epic "continues to inspire and sometimes daunt" him. The result is a personal

…  See more details below

Overview

In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet C. K. Williams sets aside the mass of biography and literary criticism that has accumulated around the work and person of Walt Whitman, and attempts to go back to Leaves of Grass as he first encountered it, to explore why Whitman's epic "continues to inspire and sometimes daunt" him. The result is a personal reassessment and appreciation of one master poet by another, as well as an unconventional and brilliant introduction--or reintroduction--to Whitman.

In brief, thematic chapters with many quotations from Leaves of Grass, Williams explores the innovations, originality, and sheer genius of the poetry that has become, as he puts it, "the unconscious" of much of the poetry of America and the world. Williams pays particular attention to the music of Whitman's poetry, its blazing perception and enormous human sympathy, its affecting anecdotes, and its vast cast of characters, as well as to the radical nature of Whitman's first-person speaker, his liberating attitude toward sex, and his unconventional ideas about death. While conveying the singularities of Whitman's work, Williams also shows what Whitman had in common with other great poets of his time, such as Baudelaire, and the powerful influence Whitman had on later poets such as Eliot and Pound.

Beautifully written and rich with insight, this is a book that refreshes our ability to see Whitman in all his power.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691144726
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/07/2010
Series:
Writers on Writers Series
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
874,210
Product dimensions:
4.70(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents


Preface vii
Note xiii
The Music 1
The Past 5
Beginnings 9
Vision 14
Depths 21
The Man Before the Poems 23
Self-Made 27
The Notebooks 36
Emerson and the Greatest Poet 40
The Greatest Poet Submits a Poem for Publication 47
"I" 48
A Dare 54
"You" 57
America 65
The Modern, One: Baudelaire 74
Hugo and Longfellow 80
The Modern, Two: Eliot and Pound 83
Others 87
The Body 91
Sex 101
Woman 112
Lorca, Ginsberg, and "The Faggots" 119
Nature 129
Prophets 139
Imagination 149
Mortality 153
Mortality Again 163
The Sad Captain 171
Lines 172
The Voice 178
Life After 181
What He Teaches Us 184

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >