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Selected Poems 1855-1892

Walt Whitman

157 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0312206194 / ISBN 13: 9780312206192
Published by St. Martins Press, New York, 1999
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Bill's Books (Frederick, MD, U.S.A.)

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Protected jacket and coves in fine shape, price intact, binding straight, pages clean and unmarked. First Edition, first printing, Edited by Gary Schmidgall, rare and collectible. Bookseller Inventory # 008210

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Selected Poems 1855-1892

Publisher: St. Martins Press, New York

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edtion.

About this title


A fully unexpurgated collection that restores the sexual vitality and subversive flair suppressed by Whitman himself in later editions of Leaves of Grass.

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 200 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 facsimiles 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 l853 and l860. 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 30 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 first great poet.

From the Publisher:

Early Reviews for Walt Whitman's LEAVES OF GRASS:

"Mr. Whitman sees nothing vulgar in that which is commonly regarded as the grossest obscenity; rejects the laws of conventionality so completely as to become repulsive; gloats over coarse images with the gusto of a Rabelais." --The New York Times (1860)

"We ought to rejoice greatly in Walt Whitman....You can't confound him with the other inhabitants of Brooklyn or New York. How they must shudder when they read him! He is awfully good." --Henry David Thoreau (1856)

"We shall not aid in extending the sale of this intensely vulgar, nay absolutely beastly book by telling our readers where it may be purchased." --Frank Leslie's Illustrated Paper (1856)

"Walt Whitman, the world...needed a man who dared speak out his strong, honest thoughts in the face of pusillanimous, toadying, republican needed a large-hearted, untainted, self-reliant, fearless son of the Stars and Stripes." --Fanny Fern (1856)

"Art requires, above all things, a suppression of one's self, a subordination of one's self to an idea. This will never do....We find art, measure, grace, sense sneered at on every page." --Henry James (1865)

"[Whitman] is the herald to a new era. As a man he is the precursor of a fresh type. He is a factor in the heroic and spiritual evolution of the human being." --Oscar Wilde (1889)

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