Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. Published by MobileReference (mobi)

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This is an electronic edition of the complete book complemented by author biography. This book features the table of contents linked to every poem. The book was designed for optimal navigation on the Kindle, PDA, Smartphone, and other electronic readers. It is formatted to display on all electronic devices including the Kindle, Smartphones and other Mobile Devices with a small display.


Leaves of Grass (1855) is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman. Among the poems in the collection are "Song of Myself," "I Sing the Body Electric," "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," and in later editions, Whitman's elegy to the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd." Whitman spent his entire life writing Leaves of Grass, revising it in several editions until his death.

This book is notable for its delight in and praise of the senses during a time when such candid displays were considered immoral. Where much previous poetry, especially English, relied on symbolism, allegory, and meditation on the religious and spiritual, Leaves of Grass (particularly the first edition) exalted the body and the material world. Influenced by the Transcendentalist movement, itself an offshoot of Romanticism, Whitman's poetry praises nature and the individual human's role in it. However, Whitman does not diminish the role of the mind or the spirit; rather, he elevates the human form and the human mind, deeming both worthy of poetic praise.

- Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.--

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Customer Reviews:

  • The original lean, bursting on the scene, Whitman
    4 1/2 stars, really, but we can't do that. This is the original 1855 version. Whitman added to the collection throughout his life, ending up with an overstuffed and very uneven "deathbed" version, which is better known. There are some good poems in it which aren't in the original, such as When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom'd, but there's a lot of pretty weak stuff, too. The 1855 has a small number of pretty consistently excellent poems which are highly original and loosely but definitely connected. Reading it is a very different experience from wading through the bloated, inconsistent final version - there's something Whitmanesque (i.e., at it's best) about the original collection as a unit. Malcolm Cowley's introduction is also a bit wild and wooly (written in the late 60s or early 70s), but interesting and enlightening....more info
  • American classic in every aspect
    This collection of poems proves beyond a doubt that Whitman is one of the greatest poets ever to live. The touching and personnal nature of these poems is sure to strike a cord in you. Whitman's voice is the voice of America. These poems are simply wonderous....more info
  • About the Various Editions

    I was familiar with the well-known poems and wanted to own "Leaves of Grass." I'm not going to review the poetry, but describe, hopefully to help others figure out what took me some research, its various editions.

    In 1855 Whitman self-published "Leaves of Grass" as a 12-poem book. Up to 1892, he added poems and revised the original twelve poems -- books also published under the same title, "Leaves of Grass." In 1892, Whitman published (by then, recognized, not self-published) its final version, the edition he wanted to be thought the definitive "Leaves of Grass." This is the commonly called "Deathbed Edition." It contains over 300 poems. It does contain the original twelve, though not in their original or other previously-published forms. By then, they'd been many-times revised over the years, and released within other publications between the first and the last. In essence, "Leaves of Grass" was a nearly 40-year evolving work, under the same title, each edition containing the prior editions' poems further revised, plus additional poems.

    I wanted to read the original poems. I also wanted to see their final versions, and was curious to see their evolution. I noticed that some books include so many evolutions of the poems/book, they fill at least two volumes. I wanted to own "Leaves of Grass" but I didn't need to become a scholar of it; I wanted to read the book. However, I didn't want only the Deathbed Edition -- I was both curious about the original and wanted to see more than 12 poems.

    I decided to buy an edition of the book that contains the entire Deathbed Edition, plus a few of the poems in their original form, and some commentary. I believe, after researching, I found the best I could. That would be my recommendation: if this is your first purchase of "Leaves of Grass" make sure to see some poetry from 1855, some poetry from the Deathbed Edition, and some poetry in between. That is, if what you want to read is the poetry and not own a collector's item or only the "definitive edition," as Whitman viewed it (Deathbed). To me, seeing only the final version detracts something from its core -- and after reading the poems and comparing them, I feel this even more -- so in that sense I disagree with Whitman; he chose to make public many books over 40 years, yet wanted only the last to be considered the true version.

    As a reader, I find it unfortunate that this is a work that evolved over a lifetime under the same title; it renders each addition of poems to the book not books of their own, and also difficult to find on their own. So, for me, the compromise was to choose a book that includes the Deathbed Edition and part of the original, without having to read multiple books, or 1,000 pages, or a scholarly journal (though I would love to see the full original 12 poems).

    I understand a book will be released soon that includes both the full original (12 poems) and the full Deathbed Editions. I don't have it, so I don't know what else will be included.
    ...more info
  • !!!EMERALD!!!
    leaves of grass

    not only the greatest selling poet who has been dead for more than fifty years, not only the poet whose translations are regularly read abroad, not only the poet whose name has in-spired countless others, not only the poet who freed us from the manacles of rhyme and decapitated the tyranny of meter but also a man of enthusiasm, a titan, a man whose soul floods with belch, fume and quake, a man who confronts the ravenous centaurs of humdrum and blugeons them swiftly in a spasmo of frenzy-fire, a wanderer, a searcher, one whose mind travels vig-orously throughout the cosmimosa and embellishes it with jac-inths of thought and blooms of popy! not only a man of gargan-tuan passions, one who rages in the face of metallic storm but also a man whose depressions, fogs, glooms and sensitivity to flowers, softness and the defenseless bloom in stark heart-throb. no doubt he is a poet well worth a place beside such other titano-giants such as goethe, milton and homer, for he too sings the song of war, his book is a chanson of bellum for he sings of the battle of the passions, the climaximum of the emo-ceans, he challenges the raw specters of gash, their eyes oozing of slime-drab and rather than succumb to the oxen of indiffer-ence he instead triumphs over the gray and his book thus re-sounds in shinning claria! his is an adventure of thought sur-real in its gusto, jumping in its excitica and wild in its leap of ideas! thank celestium that he liberated us poets from the ab-surd manacles of rhyme and meter and we can now surge through horiza with countless new devices, metaphors and similies awaiting in our platoons! he is the cougar of innova-tion, the lion of spasmo and the giant of vision.

    author of Lorelei Pursued and Wrestles with God ...more info
  • Known as America's Poet, Whitman is not poetic
    Walt Whitman's life's work is his "Leaves of Grass", enlarged over the years with additional poems. Regarded as America's poet, Whitman wrote in the 1840s through the 1880s, encompassing both the "Manifest Destiny" ideology of the pre-war, through the Reconstruction period of US History.

    The poems are diverse and upbeat. The language, for the most part, is clear and easy. Nevertheless, like most poetry today, the poems are so little different from prose, except in the presentation into lines. Very few poetic devises are used.

    One may correctly criticize my critique as one who does not appreciate contemporary poetry. But, in comparison to rhyhming verse by Longfellow, Frost, Byron, Browning, or Shakespeare, current poetry appears meaningless.

    Although a classic, "Leaves of Grass" offers only one or two poems that qualify for a standard anthology. None of his poems are memorable. Not a single line is considered worthy of citing anywhere in literature.

    I give two stars to the work, simply because I must admit my own incompetence in modern poetry appreciation. Whitman is considered important enough to be the major poet in the movie, "Dead Poet's Society"; so, the reputation of the work must be quite impressive, though it beats me how that is....more info
  • The True American Patriot
    After reading a portion of Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass", particularly the preface and "Song of Myself", I found it to be inspiring and uplifting. Whitman is the most enthuiastic American poet I have ever read and his passion for life and nature is amazing. He did not ever want to miss a second of life or the smallest detail of nature. He shares his limitless love for all Americans, including, of course, himself. I particularly enjoy his frequent usage of listing without commas, which I find livens his excitement for life even more. Whitman, although he may come off as a bit over eager to some, truly makes you realize how blessed you are and how lucky you are to live in this beautiful place, and he reminds us all that we should not take any of these blessings for granted. Something I find I need to be reminded of more than I should. I recommend this book to all....more info
  • Fallen Leaves
    Although he may be as genius as he is, Walt Whitman is just random. His structure and development are atrocious, leaving us in a cloud of confusion. His lists, names, and metaphors can only be described as random thought. And don't even get me started on his comma use. That's how my little sister writes for crying out loud! I mean, don't you remember? You'd get lucky if you found an "and" in there somewhere. Granted, he did revolutionize poetry and writing as we know it. However, certain selections for his ever famous Song of Myself show that he can sure describe those bodily actions that he seems to love so much. I can cut him some slack, probably because he's a romantic writer, but his random stringing of words, phrases, and lists do his poetry injustice. Poor Jonathon Edwards would be turning in his grave......more info
  • Leaves of Grass
    Having read only tid bits, here and there, from Leaves of Grass, I found that it was full of truly unique American poetry. Whitman definitely achieved his goal of becoming a truly innovative poet. The fact that he rarely uses any type of meter, rhyme scheme, or exaggerated rhetorical devices almost says that he has mastered the basic fundamentals of poetry and surpassed his peers. He is so far above the simple and frequently used methods that he must create his own fresh and new style of writing. I found Leaves of Grass to be a lot to grapple with as a high school student, especially his philosophy pertaining to Deism, and yet, it was most intriguing and made me want to simply delve deeper into it. I look forward to completing Leaves of Grass and recommend it to anyone looking for truly original forms of American poetry....more info
  • A Lover of all Forms
    Whitman is, no doubt, the truest. Many other popular poets are regarded too highly for their reflections on reality. Whitman is beyond mere relection, he has seen and deciphered the underlying objects of so much other work. Masterful....more info
  • Great book
    The book was in great condition, brand new, speed was ok, great overall!...more info
  • Good for beginners
    While for those more into Whitman's work would probably want to invest in the Library of America's edition, this one is a good start for those who are just starting to read Whitman. So many people proclaim Whitman as the essential American Poet because of his lines showing the beauty of Democracy. Personally, I could have cared less whether he loved Democracy or not. He wrote about life. He wrote about the mundane world, and made it look so beautiful. He admired the human form, and praised the wonderful design of the body. His comments on life in America during the middle of the 19th century really carry a romantic outlook. He was passionate about himself, life, and the world around him. The fact that he inspired many poets around the world in the 20th century gives testimony to him being a poet with worldwide appeal. He was not just a voice for America; he was a voice for lovers of life....more info
  • The great poet of America and the great American poet
    Whitman is the great poet of America and the great American poet. His song is not only of himself but of the American realities he meets and catalogues in his long cadenced lines. Whitman sings the song of America as yes in a way no one had before and no one will since. He is the American poet who captured the most of American reality in his lines . And he is the one who too speaks of it at the moment of its great outward expansion and hope, as a historical progress of ever rising ever more sweepingly inclusive cosmic concentrical circles. He is a writer who touches the stars, and above all reaches the sense of the light within us (When I heard the learned Astronomer) He touches upon American tragedy ( O Captain my Captain) and most deeply expresses it ( Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking) He is the one who takes all America as an adventure and feast for his eyes and lines. And his poem however ironically his own life and end comments on it symbolizes for America its great new dawn always opening toward new light and greater worlds westward and within. ...more info
  • Clinton spoiled this for me
    I will never read this now. But I might give a copy to some gal so I can get laid. Ummmm, y-e-e-e-s!...more info
  • the American's American
    Several reviewers state that Whitman is a "real American." Fair enough. But when his "bravado and self-love" are defended in the name of some sort of humility then someone is projecting their own romantic reading onto a person who was a self-proclaimed imperialist. He was hardly someone who wanted everyone to find their own truth. Of course, in today's post-9/11 America, being an imperialist certainly makes Whitman seem like a contemporary American....more info
  • There is NO equal...
    Please, please... remember the way you felt about love and life at eighteen or so. Recall the idealism, the unfathomable passion. Then, READ...and be enraptured... and ask yourself, what has happened to me to make me so cynical and dumb to the voices of the universe?This book, these poems, ARE LIFE ITSELF......more info
  • The Best American Poet's Best Book and The Best Living American Critic
    The 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass was the first and the best.

    When I was young I bought the big deathbed edition, not knowing about the 1855 one. I became a Whitman disciple. Either version is a good place to start, but the 1855 is the best version of the early poems and a fine introduction to W.W.

    The 1855 version was ignored for quite a long time in Whitman studies, but started recieving critical attention after Malcolm Cowley worked to revive it in the 1950's. It was his version that used to be available, until recently, as a Penguin Classic.

    So whats the difference between 1855 and the Deathbed one?

    Throughout his lifetime, Whitman not only expanded LOG, his only book, with gobs of inferior-- and sometimes truly awful-- poems (especially when he was older) but he also revised many of his early poems for later editions-- revising them almost always for the worse.

    The 1855 edition is realtively short and reflects the diminutive, obscure quality of the original. The poems are full of Whitman's original fire before he tinkered with them.

    Bloom, the author of the introduction, is in the estimation of many America's best living literary critic. He profoundly knows and adores Walt Whitman.

    If you have the slightest interest in reading American Poetry,drop whatever you are reading (unless it is perhaps Dickinson or Emerson) and get this book. It's still America's best. Nothing since has been (and nothing will ever be) better. The only American poets after Whitman who mattered were deep readers of LOG: Hart Crane, Wallace Stevens, TS Eliot, John Ashbury. (A Ginsberg, C. Sandberg, and O. Paz resemble him superficially but they are are wonks.)

    If you are interested later in getting all of Whitman's poems, skip all the in-between editions and get the 'Deathbed' Version, which has many good and important poems like 'When Lilacs Last in The Dooryard Bloomed' and 'As I Ebbed with the Ocean of Life'-- as well as many bad ones, to go with your 1855.

    The Deathbed Version (Whitman approved it as the final Version of his one book as he lay dying) is probably close to ten times as long as the 1855 edition.

    But Whitman got it right in 1855....more info
  • Maybe try the little train that could.....
    Mr Boston everyone has their own opinions but to call this work boring is saying that you have no idea about what you are reading. No author has ever come close to understanding what it means to be a living organism in this universe then Whitman. He truly felt he was one with all if more people thought like him maybe we could get rid of things that I fail to understand like racism and war....more info
  • Moving!! Colossal!! A Celebration of being Alive!!
    The best way to appreciate Whitman is to read him aloud as you walk down a street or the country side.You'd feel electricity stirring within you and all else would change too.Even the inanimate would seeth with life and vitality amidst the gentle choreography of nature.Thats what happens to me when I read "The Song Of the Open Road".It's amazing that Whitman could capture the deep inherent things we feel inside,things that stir us inside out and yet find it difficult to express.A timeless clasic that will stir people from generation to generation.Nothing like it....more info
  • Don't Try to Read it at One Sitting
    Whitman is not the world's greatest poet - that's probably Shakespeare - but he's certainly been the most influential American poetic voice over the past century. He was the first poet to take all of American life as his subject. Ever the Romantic, Whitman was also the first poet to bring Romanticism into line with everyday reality.

    His narcissism can be annoying, but his panoramic descriptions of life and the imagination have a singularly cumulative power. Some of his short poems ("A Noiseless Patient Spider" and "To a Locomotive in Winter")are individually memorable. The longer poem "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed," indirectly about the Lincoln assassination, is brilliant. I think most of his Civil War poems are overpraised, but "Come Up from the Fields, Father" is a masterpiece of its kind.

    On the negative side, Whitman's transcendental philosophy, which he likes to indulge at length, will strike many readers as very sappy. His style, lots of details piled up on top of one another, grows monotonous, and readers who criticize his lack of traditional poetic craftsmanship cannot just be brushed off. My advice is to not to try to get through it all at once. The poems rarely become "difficult," they just tend to blur one into the other. Which may actually have been Whitman's intention.

    Overall,there's never been a book quite like "Leaves of Grass," in any edition, and that's why it keeps selling as a true classic. In other words, a very old book that people still buy and read and enjoy even when no teacher is telling them to. Reading it will get you as close as one book can to actually living in nineteenth-century America, with all its follies, inequities, and promise....more info
  • The Wonderful Gift
    Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass is an exemplary representation of both transcendentalism and realism. Walt Whitman was one of the few writers to bridge the gap between these literary movements and Leaves of Grass was, in essence, his opus. It represented the author himself and was often condemned in Whitman's time for it's blatant descriptions and incorporations of sexuality and homosexuality. However, years later it came to be appreciated for what it is truly worth as an exquisite culmination of people, emotions, and the democratic spirit.
    Of the many themes covered throughout the 438 pages in the ninth edition of Whitman's masterpiece, symbolism was often used to represent allegory ideas and situations. In "O Captain! My Captain!" the captain symbolizes Abraham Lincoln and America is ship. In the captain's death, Whitman is alluding to the fact that in the absence of strong leadership guiding the "ship," there will be a lack of order and chaos. "Song of Myself" was, on the other hand, explicit in the ideal it depicted. All fifty-two sections discuss intricacies of semi-specific people or types of people; they come together as one poem and are all part of something larger. Whitman believed not only in the individual being but also in a larger being that everyone and everything was a part of, in other words the oversoul. "Song of Myself" is truly filler in the gap between the literary movements because it is so thoroughly transcendental in meaning, yet so precise in describing reality.
    Emerson's was completely justified in praising Walt Whitman's work because it is still today very profound and extremely important in respect American literature overall. Unfortunately a fairly high mentality is required to take in his poetry for all its meaning and worth. Maturity and openness is key because often criticism of Leaves of Grass spurns from prudish and thoroughly conservative readers....more info
  • Tempered Thoughts
    While I agree with most of the reviews written here, I must take issue with them somewhat. First, I also believe that Walt Whitman is one of the finest poets that ever lived and certainly the finest when it comes to being a proud American. Although, he comes from a time in America that was like that of Socrates and Plato in the past, a time when the most important thing in life was not work, or success or career, but the exploration of one's inner thoughts. Were we living in a time when such a thing was permitable rather than the constant search for the almighty dollar, we might see more such poets. But he and his era are long gone. The art of the word is certainly Walt's. I ask you to also purchase a dictionary when you purchase this or any of his volumes, not because it is difficult to read, but because Whitman doesn't always use a word for it's main meaning, often burying a meaning of a word or line in the third or fourth meaning, completely changing the meaning of the poem. It is such fun and exactly what I believe Walt Whitman is meant to be, a journey and a trip to the celebration of life. A celebration that also includes a look at the worst that is us and the best that is us. When the reviewer wrote that his work is a study of a narcissist, I have to disagree. Yes, it begins his work with Song of Myself and it is an epic poem. But while he celebrates Walt, he is truly celebrating all of us as amazing creatures in nature. He celebrates every molecule of us, the amazing capabilities, perfumes and evilness of us. He studies us as though someone would study the amazing ability of a tree to grow or a flower to bloom. We are nature and he recognizes that and it is amazing to him. Clearly, he had bravado and self-love, but in the most non-imposing way. We wishes all of us to realize the miracle that is us. To believe that he is only about himself is to miss the point of Walt. Also, it is important to read the various editions of this volume. He wrote and rewrote Leaves of Grass continuously throughout his life adding and deleting poems as he saw them. The best way to see his journey is to read the first edition (complete with his swaggering picture), where he was not listed as the author to the final "deathbed edition" that is truly a masterpiece and you can see what he learns, what he tries to teach you and how deeply you will be moved by him. One last hint - read "Song of Myself" outloud. It becomes truly a song about life and read outloud can certainly stir your soul....more info
  • A Classic Beauty
    Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass reveals Whitman's passion for nearly every aspect of life, from amazement of great ships to the enchantment cast by the beauty of a sunset. The juxtaposition of ideas from line to line creates a vivid imagery throughout the poetry that gives the reader a sense of life as a whole; Whitman describes the broadness and complexity of his own experiences and thoughts with ease. Large sections of the collection are devoted to discussion of a broad array of subjects. For example, section three, entitled "Song of Myself", extends for about fifty pages and poems within the section are distinguished only by numbers. Although the numbers work to separate the ideas found in the passage, the thoughts still flow into one another, causing the text to present a challenging and sometimes exhausting read. However, other sections such as "Whispers of Heavenly Death" give relief from the dense material. These contain shorter poems with titles that usually aim to indicate the theme of the poem. They are more concise and easily understood, because Whitman appears to organize his thoughts, condense them, and put each one into a titled poem. Overall, the entire collection presents classic free verse poetry that retains timeless concepts and revelations of human emotions. And because of the grand style and often elevated language in the declarations Whitman uses to communicate his position on elements such as life, death, emotion, nature, heroes, love, politics, etc., the collection could be seen as something near contemporary epic poetry.
    Leaves of Grass also demonstrates Whitman's incredible self-awareness; the lines in the poem "O Living Always, Always Dying" are an example of his confidence as they state, "O me, what I was for years, now dead, (I lament not, I am content;) O to disengage myself from those corpses of me, which I turn and look at where I cast them, to pass on, (O living! always living!) and leave the corpses behind." The importance of this self-assurance is that Whitman creates a more stable bond between himself and the reader, because when he gives his advice the reader becomes more liable to accept it as a plausible truth.
    This collection of poetry has much to offer to a variety of readers. Since it is so broad based, anyone should be able to read it and find some concept of interest. Whitman himself appears in his poetry as a diverse individual, and therefore more people can make a connection with him. And even if there happens to be little for one to relate to, the beautiful descriptions and classic language themselves can become valuable souvenirs in the reader's memory. ...more info
  • Outstanding Poems here
    This is one of the first books of poetry that I ever read. My Great Grand Father had this book, and it was very old looking to me when I first seen it 25 years ago, I was young then and didn't know that the book held a value. I don't know where it is now but I know the poems were really good and I enjoyed them immensely. Walt Whitman is a great writer, and I enjoy is poems....more info
  • Leaves of Grass
    Walt Whitman is one of the two most read poets by the American reading public. This is a classic and like Whitman, it covers every aspect of life, including his patriotism....more info
  • I'm a Happy Camper
    Well I bought this book on the 8th and i absolutely love it. It was in good condition practically brand new. Well it's a great book and I'm so glad I bought it. ...more info
  • not the same book
    this was the same literature but not the book that was pictured on amazon website. very old version and took forever to get here....more info
  • Whitman Glorified?
    Whitman Glorified?

    Whitman's descriptions of nature are inspired and his style exudes with the same passion as his subject. Yet, his self-absorption overshadows his talent. Whitman's poem, "Song of Myself" takes up a significant portion of the book, Leaves of Grass. Here, Whitman keeps no points in reserve, but spends 52 sections "celebrating" himself. He feels he, as man, is the great panacea. He suckles at its mercy until it fills not only his subject matter, but influences his technique and his structure as well. His intriguing mind leads the reader along, until disappointment is found in another laborious passage expounding god status and the call to ascend to his level of distorted thinking. Whitman's momentary descriptive nuggets are lost in a sea of narcissism....more info

  • A looser
    I bought this and returned it. There must be someone out there with the right voice and reading skills to bring us Whitman's words and rhythms. Ms. Gibson's soprano sing-song doesn't make it. ...more info
  • Relevant for our time
    Walt Whitman's poetry, read in the context of the political and economic climate of the US today, gives us a perspective we seem to be unable to see. The purity of his writings on America might bridge the schisms we face as a country. Beautiful and powerful.
    Sarah Pestana-New Jersey...more info
  • THE SOURCE of ALL American Prose/Poesy
    Hemingway said all American writing comes from one book, Huck Finn. Wrong! He also believed himself a better writer than Fitzgerald. Wrong! I'm no literary expert, I haven't gone to Harvard or Yale or any of those overpriced universities for spoiled rich kids but in my expert opinion all American literature: rhythm, length, flow, syntax, form, etc., came from one book & this is it. Henry Miller was spot-on when he said America has only produced one great writer & that is Walt Whitman. Hemingway's style wasn't jacked from Stein or Anderson, well, maybe a bit from Anderson, so much as Whitman. Yeah, I know Bloom has drawn a connection between Hemingway & Whitman before, the repetition-ploy & all that, but what I'm telling you, if you'll forgive the trite clich®¶, there was poetry before Whitman & its wasn't the same after.
    If you're short on time, forget Wordsworth or Keats or all those other `lazing the daisy breeze' 19th century knuckleheads, read this book & memorize some quotes (to impress people at office holiday parties).
    Yes, I do believe this is the same book Clinton gave Lewinsky for her birthday. Wonder if there were any stains on it?
    ...more info
  • Excellent edition of Whitman's Masterwork
    Choosing the fullest, most complete version of Whitman's text, before the final editing of the deathbed edition, but following the additions made after the Civil War, the Norton Critical is a must have for students of poetry, or literature, and of nature. The wild, ecstatic hunger for the world, the ravishment of the senses, as Norman Mailer put it (though not about Whitman), the mysticism of the flesh, Whitman is, arguably, the most accomplished poet of American letters.

    A must read for poets, students, and pagans (Whitman as spirit of the Green Man himself!)....more info
  • As Kiss As Does
    I hate literary types who venerate books and authors like some Virgin Mary and cannot see the problems-inherent. This book is REALLY BORING. Yes, he does have an amazing style of poetry that revolutionized literature, but it's still BORING. His poems, like Song of Myself drag on for like 100 pages rumbling over all sorts of thoughts, events, seemingly haphazardly chunked together without any real logical thread, and just DRAGS & DRAGS. I dare anyone to read this book cover to cover more than once....more info
  • a classic of American poetry
    No doubt influenced by the free verse of ancient Greek poetry, Walt Whitman wrote about 19th c. America in the same way that the ancient Greek and Roman poets wrote about their own time and world. Much praised and criticized when it was first published, "Leaves of Grass" remains a wonderfully innovative, original, observant, wise, sensually unashamed, and heroic portrait of American identity, and a eulogy in praise of American people, places, ideas and things.

    David Rehak
    author of "Poems From My Bleeding Heart"...more info

  • MISREPRESENTATION: This is 1892 Deathbed Edition!
    Although the poems are beautiful... and I certainly don't mean to bash Whitman with this 2-star rating... it's the wrong book. NOT AS ADVERTISED. This was supposed to be the original 1855 edition. That's what I expected, and therefore (in my mind) what I was paying for. The original 1855 edition, according to modern literary analysis, was the "strongest/purest" version. It was the true starting point of Whitman's own (and consequently America's) poetic awakening. Consisting of just 12 "perfect" poems, it was THAT edition which Emerson praised so highly.

    Whitman never put out another book... just revision after revision, addition after addition, and edition after edition of Leaves Of Grass... until you wind up with "the deathbed edition" which is a severely bloated and different work from the original.

    I was very much looking forward to a slender volume of the original edition. Which is what the item description says this is. It's not. Be forewarned... it's the Deathbed Edition of 1892... nearly 500 pages. And frankly, there are MUCH better versions of the deathbed edition. Sturdier versions with nicer pages exist (this is a pretty weak paperback, printed on pulp pages), with better footnotes and more authoritive introductions. Shop around.

    To sum up... the 2 star rating is because lying about which edition this is, is a terrible way to sell the book. Whitman was fantastic and the poetry contained in the book itself is first rate. It just would have been nice to get what I paid for. The "true" editon, written by a YOUNG Whitman at the height of his powers......more info
  • Review of Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass"
    This thick soft-backed "pocket" book has 490 pages. It could be called The Complete Whitman. It contains hundreds of poems.
    I am a senior citizen who had not read any Whitman for more than 50 years and am enjoying it very much. His descriptions of the 19th century's people, places, and inventions are eye-openers. He was actually a feminist before there was such a concept, and also an abolitionist. He truly believed in equality and democracy. He was a nature lover and wanted to protect the environment.
    Of course, there are parts I could quibble about, but that would be foolish. Whitman was a man ahead of his time. ...more info
  • Loverly
    What a lover?! I have fallen in love with Walt Whitman. One such as this writing such passionate things in those times or these...and with such candor. I am so thankful to have read this book. Beautiful....more info
  • Walt Whitman is a Great Read!!!!!
    If you love poetry, then this is a great read!!!...more info
  • America's First Hippie Rock Star Was Walt Whitman

    Leave it to high school English teachers, those frequent crushers of dreaming souls, to find a way to put young minds off this steamroller of a poetry collection. No rhymes to bore anyone, no meter, simply a transfer of pure mental energy. It took me a while to get into Whitman because I knew him thru a lot of boring teachers who tried to squeeze the very life out of these works and inject them with artificial, completely sanitized "meaning". This is poetry at its most raw. It does for the written word what Stravinsky did with music. It doesn't need dressing up and it utterly rejects the falsity of good manners. As Whitman joyfully tells us of himself: "I am not the least bit civilized!" This is wild stuff and it'll kick you sideways if you give it half a chance. Read it and then choose the right moment to sound your own barbaric yawp!...more info
  • Not the 1855
    At least as available for the Kindle, this is not the 1855 edition. It seems to be the final edition, which is of course great, but not what I intended to get based on the product description posted. Also, the foreward and afterward mentioned in the description are missing. I don't expect the moon for a low price, but I do expect to get what I pay for....more info
  • America's First Great Poet
    Please forgive the presumptuous title of my review. But Walt Whitman was and still is one of the most influential poets I have ever read. He began life on a farm on Long Island, but times got bad and his family uprooted itself and moved to Brooklyn. Brooklyn at that time was a growing city unto itself and trades were needed. Thus Whitman learned the trade of printer. But his soul led him to a higher calling. He became a jounrnalist and wrote poetry. His early efforts did not amount to anything major. Yet sometimes the unimaginable happens in a man's life. A sudden thrust of inspiration strikes one like a bolt of lightning. Then something new and unique is born out of this inception - a new form of poetry - what is today referred to as free verse. Yes, Whitman is the father of the form, and perhaps one of its greatest practitioners. The beat poets who were to follow in his footsteps never really rose to his great height of mystic revelation. I think that's what the other reviewers are talking about when they refer to Whitman's religiosity. For Whitman was the poet of a new world, a new nation, a growing entity that would go on to fulfill an old dream of mankind. That is, the dream of a thoroughly new man, a man who was free from the past, a man who could find his soul was one with the fathomless cosmos. Hence, "Walt Whitman, a cosmos" is a very telling way Whitman has of describing himself to his reader.

    My favorite poem by Walt Whitman is his "Song of Myself." It contains the seed of everything he had lived as a human being and every vision he would realize as a mystic of epic proportions. After that, I believe his next great poem was "I Sing The Body Electric." "Drum Taps" was also quite an interesting addition to "Leaves of Grass." Also, "When Lilacs Last In The Dooryard Bloomed" is Whitman at his poetic best.

    So it is without any reservation that I am highly recommending "Leaves Of Grass" to all and sundry as a must read. Especially now, in the wake of 9/11 we need to reaffirm what it means to be American, and I know of no better American Visionary to help in this cause then Walt Whitman....more info