Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass

( 12 )

Overview

As featured in AMC's Breaking Bad, given by Gale Boetticher to Walter White and discovered by Hank Schrader.

"I celebrate myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease....observing a spear of summer ...

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Hardcover (150th Anniversary Edition)
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Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass

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Overview

As featured in AMC's Breaking Bad, given by Gale Boetticher to Walter White and discovered by Hank Schrader.

"I celebrate myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease....observing a spear of summer grass."

So begins Leaves of Grass, the first great American poem and indeed, to this day, the greatest and most essentially American poem in all our national literature.

The publication of Leaves of Grass in July 1855 was a landmark event in literary history. Ralph Waldo Emerson judged the book "the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed." Nothing like the volume had ever appeared before. Everything about it—the unusual jacket and title page, the exuberant preface, the twelve free-flowing, untitled poems embracing every realm of experience—was new. The 1855 edition broke new ground in its relaxed style, which prefigured free verse; in its sexual candor; in its images of racial bonding and democratic togetherness; and in the intensity of its affirmation of the sanctity of the physical world.

This Anniversary Edition captures the typeface, design and layout of the original edition supervised by Whitman himself. Today's readers get a sense of the "ur-text" of Leaves of Grass, the first version of this historic volume, before Whitman made many revisions of both format and style. The volume also boasts an afterword by Whitman authority David Reynolds, in which he discusses the 1855 edition in its social and cultural contexts: its background, its reception, and its contributions to literary history. There is also an appendix containing the early responses to the volume, including Emerson's letter, Whitman's three self-reviews, and the twenty other known reviews published in various newspapers and magazines.

This special volume will be a must-have keepsake for fans of Whitman and lovers of American poetry.

Comprises all of Whitman's poems written following the arrangement of the edition of 1891-1892.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195183429
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2005
  • Edition description: 150th Anniversary Edition
  • Edition number: 150
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 140,251
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David S. Reynolds is Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Among his many books are Walt Whitman (part of Oxford's Lives and Legacies series), Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography, which won the Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Beneath the American Renaissance, winner of the Christian Gauss Award. A regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review, he lives in Old Westbury, New York.

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Read an Excerpt

Leaves of Grass


By Walt Whitman

Turtleback Books Distributed by Demco Media

Copyright ©1961 Walt Whitman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0606033459

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, victorydeferr'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.



Continues...

Excerpted from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman Copyright ©1961 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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Table of Contents

Leaves of Grass vii
Afterword 85
Reviews of the 1855 Edition of Leaves of Grass 107
Ralph Waldo Emerson's Letter to Walt Whitman 161
Walt Whitman's Letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson 161
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This is an Awesome Collection

    This is an awesome collection to have in one's own library.

    Everyone should own Whitman works, along with Ohio Blue Tips by Jeanne E. Clark, The Photos In The Closet by Daniel E. Lopez, and works by Alison Townsend.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2008

    America's Poet

    In our tubulent times, it is great to reflect on Whitman's poetry written during the Civil War. Truly an insight for his and this generation.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 24, 2012

    WW is my star, my perfect silence.

    WW is my star, my perfect silence.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    GOOD but not great

    From the picture I thought the book was leather bound but its just the slip cover that looks like that. Only after receiving the book did I realize that its an anniversary edition of precisely what was published in the first edition, meaning the complete works of Walt Whitman are not in this book. I would recommend this for those who want to know more about the man and his work because of the original reviews and letters included. This is not for someone who wants all of Walt's work.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2011

    Pleased, but...

    The contents are what you'd expect; however, the images I saw online led me to think the book had an embossed cover like the original edition. Instead, it is just a dust jacket with a facsimile of the original cover.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 3, 2013

    Not what I expected at all from the online image. Feel conned an

    Not what I expected at all from the online image. Feel conned and will return promptly. Love the content, but a cheap paperback with the 1855 edition can give me that. 

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2008

    i would rather burn my own eyes out

    read title...enough said. if you have the audacity to read this, you are the most pathetic person i have ever heard of. burn this book.

    0 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 12 Customer Reviews

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