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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1897 edition. Excerpt: ...Rise O days from your fathomless deeps, till you loftier, fiercer sweep, Long for my soul hungering gymnastic I devour'd what the earth gave me, Long I roam'd the woods of the north, long I watch'd Niagara pouring, I travel'd the prairies over and slept on their breast, I cross'd the Nevadas, I cross'd the plateaus, I ascended the towering rocks along the Pacific, I sail'd out to sea, I sail'd through the storm, I was refresh'd by the storm, I watch'd with joy the threatening maws of the waves, I mark'd the white combs where they career'd so high, curling over, I heard the wind piping, I saw the black clouds, Saw from below what arose and mounted, (O superb! O wild as my heart, and powerful!) Heard the continuous thunder as it bellow'd after the lightning, Noted the slender and jagged threads of lightning as sudden and fast amid the din they chased each other across the sky; These, and such as these, I, elate, saw--saw with wonder, yet pensive and masterful, All the menacing might of the globe uprisen around me, Yet there with my soul I fed, I fed content, supercilious. 'Twas well, O soul--'twas a good preparation you gave me, Now we advance our latent and ampler hunger to fill, Now we go forth to receive what the earth and the sea never gave us, Not through the mighty woods we go, but through the mightier cities, Something for us is pouring now more than Niagara pouring, Torrents of men, (sources and rills of the Northwest are you indeed inexhaustible?) What, to pavements and homesteads here, what were those storms of the mountains and sea? What, to passions I witness around me to-day? was the sea risen? Was the wind piping the pipe of death under the black clouds? Lo! from deeps more unfathomable, something more deadly and savage, Manhattan...
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One of the great innovative figures in American letters, Walt Whitman created a daringly new kind of poetry that became a major force in world literature. Leaves Of Grass is his one book. First published in 1855 with only twelve poems, it was greeted by Ralph Waldo Emerson as "the wonderful gift . . . the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed." Over the course of Whitman's life, the book reappeared in many versions, expanded and transformed as the author's experiences and the nation's history changed and grew. Whitman's ambition was to creates something uniquely American. In that he succeeded. His poems have been woven into the very fabric of the American character. From his solemn masterpieces "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" and "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" to the joyous freedom of "Song of Myself," "I Sing the Body Electric," and "Song of the Open Road," Whitman's work lives on, an inspiration to the poets of later generations.From the Inside Flap:
In 1855, the first edition of Leaves of Grass appeared, consisting of twelve untitled poems and a preface outlining the author's poetics. An initial commercial failure, this volume was the first stage of a massive, lifelong enterprise. Six editions and some thirty-seven years later, Leaves of Grass would become one of the central works m the history of world poetry. This Vintage Books/The Library of America edition includes both the 1855 first edition in its exact, original form and the magnificent final edition of 1891-1892.
For the first time, the authoritative editions of works by major American novelists, poets, scholars, and essayists collected in the hardcover volumes of The Library of America are being published singly in a series of handsome paperback books. A distinguished writer has contributed an introduction for each volume, which also includes a chronology of the author's life and career, an essay on the text, and notes.
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