The Portable Walt Whitman: Revised Edition

The Portable Walt Whitman: Revised Edition

by Walt Whitman
     
 
When Walt Whitman self-published Leaves of Grass in 1855 it was a slim volume of twelve poems and he was a journalist and poet from Long Island, little-known but full of ambition and poetic fire. To give a new voice to the new nation shaken by civil war, he spent his entire life revising and adding to the work, but his initial act of bravado in answering Ralph

Overview

When Walt Whitman self-published Leaves of Grass in 1855 it was a slim volume of twelve poems and he was a journalist and poet from Long Island, little-known but full of ambition and poetic fire. To give a new voice to the new nation shaken by civil war, he spent his entire life revising and adding to the work, but his initial act of bravado in answering Ralph Waldo Emerson's call for a national poet has made Whitman the quintessential American writer. This rich cross-section of his work includes poems from throughout Whitman's lifetime as published on his deathbed edition of 1891, short stories, his prefaces to the many editions of Leaves of Grass, and a variety of prose selections, including Democratic Vistas, Specimen Days, and Slang in America.

Author Biography: Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was born on Long Island and educated in Brooklyn, New York. He served as a printer's devil, journeyman compositor, itinerant schoolteacher, editor, and unofficial nurse to Northern and Southern soldiers. Michael Warner is professor of English at Rutgers University. His most recent works include American Sermons: The Pilgrims to Martin Luther King, and his essays and journalism have appeared in the Village Voice, the Nation, and other magazines.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5-9--An outstanding introduction to Whitman's life and work. This collection of 26 poems and excerpts from longer poems is prefaced by a biographical sketch and a description of the time period. Students will be impressed by the poet's daring departure from traditional metered and rhyming poetry. Levin guides readers into understanding the importance of Whitman's oeuvre. He introduces each selection with pertinent information about its relevance to a larger work, its relationship to Whitman's beliefs, or the symbolism within it. Words that students might find difficult are defined at the bottom of the page. Beginning with the patriotic "I Hear America Singing," the collection includes excerpts from "Song of Myself," "O Captain! My Captain!," poems from Leaves of Grass, and a variety of other selections that are thought-provoking, descriptive, and full of emotion. Burke's pastel drawings add to the feelings Levin describes, and to the emotional impact of each poem. Several illustrations are historical in nature; others reflect ordinary lives and activities of the times. Still others show Whitman's sense of the miracles and mysticism of life. This superb volume can be used to teach literature or to show a variety of poetic devices and style. Students who have been taught to appreciate poetry will enjoy it on their own.--Betty Teague, Blythe Academy of Languages, Greenville, SC

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140150780
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
06/01/1977
Series:
Portable Library Series
Edition description:
Revised
Pages:
688
Product dimensions:
5.24(w) x 7.82(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was born on Long Island and educated in Brooklyn, New York. He served as a printer's devil, journeyman compositor, itinerant schoolteacher, editor, and unofficial nurse to Northern and Southern soldiers.

Michael Warner is professor of English at Rutgers University. His most recent works include American Sermons: The Pilgrims to Martin Luther King, and his essays and journalism have appeared in the Village Voice, the Nation, and other magazines.

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