Discover How Whitmans Spiritual Life and Vision Can Enlighten Your Own
Whitmans collected poems and prose are not an object or icon to be gazed upon or revered but a transparency we look through to see ourselves with greater clarity, excitement, and meaning. They wake us up to our potential, to learning about and from ourselves. To experience his writing is to experience ourselves more deeply.
from the Preface by Gary David Comstock
Walt Whitman was the most innovative and influential poet of the nineteenth century. The self-proclaimed American Bard, Whitman challenged his contemporaries to resist conforming to society and shocked them with his embrace of the sensual. But beneath his manifesto for social revolution lies a vigorous call for spiritual revolution as well.
This beautiful sampling of Whitmans most important poetry from Leaves of Grass, and selections from his prose writings, offers a glimpse into the spiritual side of his most radical themeslove for country, love for others, and love of Self. Whitman seeks to tear down the belief that the spiritual resides only in the religious and embraces the idea that nothing is more divine than humankind, nothing greater than the individual soul.
Rich with passion, reverence, and wonder, this unique collection offers insight into Whitmans quest for self-discovery, which involved an ongoing mystical experience of the world. Though seemingly personal, his verse speaks to universal harmony and universal love, optimism and joy, and celebrates the outwardly mundane details of life through words electrified with love and spirit.
About the Author
Born in 1819 in Long Island, New York, Walt Whitman was a poet, essayist, and journalist best known for Leaves of Grass (first published in 1855) and the poems "Song of Myself " and "I Sing the Body Electric." In the early years of the Civil War, Whitman traveled to Washington, D.C., to search for his brother,who was reported missing in action. Whitman stayed in Washington and volunteered as an aide in the hospitals, tending to sick and wounded soldiers. One of the first American poets to gain international attention, Whitman died in 1862 in Camden, New Jersey.
Gary David Comstock is the University Protestant Chaplain at Wesleyan University. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC) and received his PhD in social ethics from Union Theological Seminary. He has published several books, including Unrepentant, Practicing, Self-Affirming and Gay Theology without Apology. His pastoral and theological interests are building inclusive community, earth ethics, and spiritual development.