Leaves of Grass is Walt Whitman’s glorious poetry collection, first published in 1855, which he revised and expanded throughout his lifetime. It was ground-breaking in its subject matter and in its direct, unembellished style.
Part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is edited and introduced by Professor Bridget Bennett.
Whitman wrote about the United States and its people, its revolutionary spirit and about democracy. He wrote openly about the body and about desire in a way that completely broke with convention and which paved the way for a completely new kind of poetry. This new collection is taken from the final version, the Deathbed edition, and it includes his most famous poems such as ‘Song of Myself’ and ‘I Sing the Body Electric’.
There is no one in this great wide world of America whom I love and honour so much (Oscar Wilde)
I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of Leaves of Grass. I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has ever produced (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Whitman, the great poet, has meant so much to me. Whitman the one man breaking a way ahead. Whitman the one pioneer . . . Ahead of Whitman, nothing. Ahead of all poets, pioneering into the wilderness of unopened life, Whitman. Beyond him, none (D. H. Lawrence)
His [Whitman’s] Song of Himself was a song for humanity, too. And in spite of all that has happened since, it still echoes here (Independent)
Whitman had a fluid personality that made him able to “merge” invisibly, and with great empathy, with the images of other people and events that lodged in his mind . . . unprecedented assembling of rhythm, sound, language and images (New York Times)
About the Author
Walt Whitman was born in Long Island on 31 May 1819 to Walter Whitman, a carpenter and farmer, and Louisa Van Velsor Whitman. Walt was one of eight siblings and was taken out of school at the age of eleven to start work, but he continued to read voraciously and visit museums. He worked first as a printer, then briefly as a teacher before settling on a career in journalism. He self-published the first version of Leaves of Grass, which consisted of only twelve poems, in 1855. By the time he died in 1892, and despite arousing considerable controversy, he enjoyed unprecedented international success and to this day is considered to be one of America’s greatest poets.