Leaves of Grass: The Complete 1855 and 1891-92 Editions: A Library of America Paperback Classic

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9781598530971: Leaves of Grass: The Complete 1855 and 1891-92 Editions: A Library of America Paperback Classic
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In 1855, a small volume appeared, self-published by a failed Brooklyn journalist and carpenter: twelve untitled poems and a preface announcing the author's aims. A commercial failure, this book was the first stage of a massive, lifelong enterprise. Six editions and thirty-seven years later, Leaves of Grass had been recognized as one of the central masterworks of world poetry. This Library of America Paperback Classic includes two complete texts: the 1855 first edition and the magnificent culminating edition of 1891-1892.
For almost thirty years, The Library of America has presented America's best and most significant writing in acclaimed hardcover editions. Now, a new series, Library of America Paperback Classics, offers attractive and affordable books that bring The Library of America's authoritative texts within easy reach of every reader. Each book features an introductory essay by one of a leading writer, as well as a detailed chronology of the author's life and career, an essay on the choice and history of the text, and notes.
The contents of this Paperback Classic are drawn from Walt Whitman: Poetry and Prose, edited by Justin Kaplan, volume #3 in the Library of America series.

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From the Publisher:

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:

The poetry of Walt Whitman is the cornerstone of modern American verse. He was America's first truly great poet and his influence is still evident today. The first edition of Whitman's "Leaves of Grass, published in 1855, was a revolutionary manifesto declaring America's independence from European cultural domination. His rhapsodic free verse broke radically with poetic, tradition: it was poetry about America, its democracy, its people, and its hopes. It was uniquely American without apology--brash, proud, optimistic, and filled with the bustling energy of the new and growing nation.
This collection brings together Whitman's greatest and most famous poems spanning the whole of his career. From the groundbreaking first edition of "Leaves of Grass are seven poems, including "Song of Myself" and "I Sing the Body Electric."
From later editions there are such masterpieces as "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," and "I Hear America Singing." Also included is Whitman's great cycle of Civil War Poems, "Drum-Taps, which he wrote in the months when he was ministering to the wounded in battlefield hospitals. Concluding this collection is one of his last poems, "Good-bye My Fancy!"--his touching farewell to his muse, his life, and his readers.
More than one hundred years after his death, Walt Whitman's poetry has become part of the American heritage. It is a visionary which speaks as aptly to readers today as it will to future generations. As he says in "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," "others...look back on me because I look'd forward to them." Whitman's poetry is a link that connects all Americans--past, present, and future.
This book features a deluxe cover, ribbon marker, top stain, and decorative endpaper with a nameplate.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780486456768: Leaves of Grass: The Original 1855 Edition (Dover Thrift Editions)

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