Walt Whitman: Selected Poems

Walt Whitman: Selected Poems

4.7 4
by Walt Whitman
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The poetry of Walt Whitman is the cornerstone of modern American verse. He was America's first truly great poet and his influence is still evident today. The first edition of Whitman's Leaves of Grass, published in 1855, was a revolutionary manifesto declaring America's independence from European cultural domination. His rhapsodic free verse broke radically

Overview

The poetry of Walt Whitman is the cornerstone of modern American verse. He was America's first truly great poet and his influence is still evident today. The first edition of Whitman's Leaves of Grass, published in 1855, was a revolutionary manifesto declaring America's independence from European cultural domination. His rhapsodic free verse broke radically with poetic, tradition: it was poetry about America, its democracy, its people, and its hopes. It was uniquely American without apology—brash, proud, optimistic, and filled with the bustling energy of the new and growing nation.
This collection brings together Whitman's greatest and most famous poems spanning the whole of his career. From the groundbreaking first edition of Leaves of Grass are seven poems, including "Song of Myself" and "I Sing the Body Electric."
From later editions there are such masterpieces as "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," and "I Hear America Singing." Also included is Whitman's great cycle of Civil War Poems, Drum-Taps, which he wrote in the months when he was ministering to the wounded in battlefield hospitals. Concluding this collection is one of his last poems, "Good-bye My Fancy!"—his touching farewell to his muse, his life, and his readers.
More than one hundred years after his death, Walt Whitman's poetry has become part of the American heritage. It is a visionary which speaks as aptly to readers today as it will to future generations. As he says in "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," "others...look back on me because I look'd forward to them." Whitman'spoetry is a link that connects all Americans—past, present, and future.
This book features a deluxe cover, ribbon marker, top stain, and decorative endpaper with a nameplate.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These inaugural volumes in "The American Poets Project" series form a useful introduction to the evolution of modern American poetry in loose historical progression. The volume on Whitman, father of modern American poetry, restores the voice of a poet who initiated free verse to speak of a growing America and thus takes us into the 20th century and beyond. Fortunately, editor Bloom ignores all of the psycho-social-sexual labels doled out to Whitman and lauds him simply as "the principal writer that America...has brought to us." Selections include some of Whitman's best, e.g., "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" and the spiritual bridge between Whitman and his future readers, "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry." Millay, one of America's strongest female poets, is similar in her metrics to 19th-century poets, but her flamelike intensity is pure 20th century. When she died in 1950, her poetry almost died with her; not until after the women's rights movements did her once acclaimed verse resurface. Editor McClatchy provides a generous sample of her poetry, highlighting her early years ("Renascence," "A Few Figs from Thistles"), the lesser-known poems never before published, and the posthumously published "Mine the Harvest." World War II sliced the 20th century in half and forever changed the American way of life as idealism and self-reliance ceded to franchising and instant gratification. The poets appearing in the World War II anthology-compiled by Harvey Shapiro, himself a poet of the war-portend this major mind shift by their tone, which questions rather than sanctions patriotism, valor, and the values of the 1940s. Arranged by the poets' birth dates, the poems include Robinson Jeffers's cynical nod to violence as a natural cause of earth events; Randall Jarrell's graphic depictions of airborne death; and John Ciardi's whimsical renditions of horror. Lastly, Karl Shapiro, one of the more influential voices of the late 20th century, displayed complex and contrary tendencies in both his life and his poetry. Editor Updike notes that Shapiro's experimentation with voices and forms alienated those who admired the metrical dexterity of his early poems. This commanding new series, which the Library of America will expand each spring and fall season by adding two or three titles, is a worthy addition to all libraries.-Nedra Crowe Evers, Sacramento P.L., CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780517073971
Publisher:
Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
03/01/1992
Series:
Library of Classic Poets Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.66(w) x 8.53(h) x 0.72(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Walt Whitman: Selected Poems (American Poets Project) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whitman's revisions and self-censorship -- which he felt necessary to protect his reputation as 'the good gray poet,' having lived into the era when people began to be consciously aware of 'homosexuality' -- significantly weakened his work.

This edition, which collects about half of Whitman's poetry, almost always in its original form, is -- pardon the cliché -- a breath of fresh air. Whitman's work is again vigorous and exciting. It's a must-have for anyone even remotely interested in Whitman -- especially those who don't like his poetry.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book it was so awesome. Since i thought it was so awesome i tried eating it after i read the book. It was very good too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was good and sad but anyone who likes back than you will love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!