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Book Title: Song of Myself and Other Poems|
The author of the book: Walt Whitman
Date of issue: February 1st 2010
ISBN 13: 9781582435718
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.87 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.7
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"Song of Myself," the premier poem in Leaves of Grass, is widely believed to be one of the most important poems in American literature. A large part of the brilliance of "Song of Myself" is the raffish playfulness of its diction--the poem belongs to the mid-nineteenth century's love of wordplay that also characterizes the work of Dickens and Twain. Walt Whitman was deeply interested in the American language as it was emerging in his time. He wrote about American dictionaries and was fascinated by the vocabularies of the sciences and the streets. There is a story that Walt Whitman was a regular visitor to the New York Public Library, where he loved to peer into the provenience of the words he overheard and read. Robert Hass and Paul Ebenkamp's lexicon walks us through his greatest poem and, in their footsteps, much is revealed about the words Whitman chose in 1855--their inflections, meanings, and native usages we wouldn't otherwise know. We are made to understand, perhaps truly for the first time, Whitman's query in "Song of Myself": "Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?" In the first part of the collection, Hass offers an introduction to the poem and then, with Ebenkamp, a rich annotation of "Song of Myself." The second part of this book includes poems from across the span of Whitman's career, selected by Hass, that give us a fresh look at the beauty, authority, and sweep of Whitman's work.
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Read information about the authorWalter Whitman was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.
Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War in addition to publishing his poetry. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans (1842).
After working as clerk, teacher, journalist and laborer, Whitman wrote his masterpiece, Leaves of Grass, pioneering free verse poetry in a humanistic celebration of humanity, in 1855. Emerson, whom Whitman revered, said of Leaves of Grass that it held "incomparable things incomparably said." During the Civil War, Whitman worked as an army nurse, later writing Drum Taps (1865) and Memoranda During the War (1867). His health compromised by the experience, he was given work at the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. After a stroke in 1873, which left him partially paralyzed, Whitman lived his next 20 years with his brother, writing mainly prose, such as Democratic Vistas (1870). Leaves of Grass was published in nine editions, with Whitman elaborating on it in each successive edition. In 1881, the book had the compliment of being banned by the commonwealth of Massachusetts on charges of immorality. A good friend of Robert Ingersoll, Whitman was at most a Deist who scorned religion. D. 1892.
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