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A century after his death, Whitman is still celebrated as America's greatest poet. In this startling new edition of his work, Whitman biographer Gary Schmidgall presents over two hundred poems in their original pristine form, in the chronological order in which they were written, with Whitman's original line breaks and punctuation. Included in this volume are facsimilies of Whitman's original manuscripts, contemporary and generally blistering reviews of Whitman's poetry (not surprisingly Henry James hated it), and early pre-Leaves of Grass poems that return us to the physical Whitman, rejoicing sometimes graphically in homoerotic love.
Unlike the many other available editions, all drawn from the final authorized or "deathbed" Leaves of Grass, this collection focuses on the exuberant poems Whitman wrote during the creative and sexual prime of his life, roughly between 1853 and 1860. These poems are faithfully presented as Whitman first gave them to the world fearless, explicit, and uncompromised before he transformed himself into America's respectable, mainstream Good Gray Poet through thirty years of revision, self-censorship, and suppression.
Whitman admitted that his later poetry lacked the "ecstasy of statement" of his early verse. Revealing that ecstasy for the first time, this edition makes possible a major reappraisal of our nation's first great poet.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Series:||Stonewall Inn Editions Series|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.07(w) x 8.95(h) x 1.37(d)|
About the Author
Gary Schmidgall is the author of several studies of Shakespeare and biographies of Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman. He has been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Mellon and Guggenheim Foundations.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
It was good and sad but anyone who likes back than you will love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!