9780679783428

Leaves of Grass

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780679783428

  • ISBN10:

    0679783423

  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2000-11-28
  • Publisher: Modern Library

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Summary

Abraham Lincoln read it with approval, but Emily Dickinson described its bold language and themes as "disgraceful." Ralph Waldo Emerson found it "the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet produced." Published at the author's expense on July 4, 1855, Leaves of Grass inaugurated a new voice and style into American letters and gave expression to an optimistic, bombastic vision that took the nation as its subject. Unlike many other editions of Leaves of Grass, which reproduce various short, early versions, this Modern Library Paperback Classics "Death-bed" edition presents everything Whitman wrote in its final form, and includes newly commissioned notes. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Author Biography

Before the age of thirty-six there was no sign that Walt Whitman would become even a minor literary figure, let alone the major poetic voice of an emerging America. Born in 1819 on Long Island, he was the second son of a carpenter and contractor. His formal schooling ended at age eleven, when he was apprenticed to a printer in Brooklyn. He became a journeyman printer in 1835 and spent the next two decades as a printer, free-lance writer, and editor in New York. In 1855, at his own expense, he published the twelve long poems, without titles, that make up the first edition of Leaves of Grass. The book, with its unprecedented mixture of the mystical and the earthy, was received with puzzlement or silence, except by America's most distinguished writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Whitman lost no time in preparing a second edition, adding "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" and nineteen other new poems in 1856. With the third edition (1860), the book had tripled in size. Whitman would go on adding to it and revising it for the rest of his life. Whitman's poetry slowly achieved a wide readership in America and in England. He was praised by Swinburne and Tennyson, and visited by Oscar Wilde. He suffered a stroke in 1873 and spent the remainder of his life in Camden, New Jersey. His final edition of Leaves of Grass appeared in 1892, the year of his death.


From the Paperback edition.

Table of Contents

Biographical Note v
Introduction xxiii
William Carlos Williams
INSCRIPTIONS
One's-Self I Sing
1(1)
As I Ponder'd in Silence
1(1)
In Cabin'd Ships at Sea
2(1)
To Foreign Lands
3(1)
To a Historian
4(1)
To Thee Old Cause
4(1)
Eidolons
5(4)
For Him I Sing
9(1)
When I Read the Book
9(1)
Beginning My Studies
10(1)
Beginners
10(1)
To the States
10(1)
On Journeys Through the States
11(1)
To a Certain Cantatrice
12(1)
Me Imperturbe
12(1)
Savantism
13(1)
The Ship Starting
13(1)
I Hear America Singing
13(1)
What Place Is Besieged?
14(1)
Still Though the One I Sing
14(1)
Shut Not Your Doors
15(1)
Poets to Come
15(1)
To You
16(1)
Thou Reader
16(100)
Starting From Paumanok
16(17)
Song Of Myself
33(83)
CHILDREN OF ADAM
To the Garden the World
116(1)
From Pent-up Aching Rivers
116(3)
I Sing the Body Electric
119(11)
A Woman Waits for Me
130(2)
Spontaneous Me
132(3)
One Hour to Madness and Joy
135(2)
Out of the Rolling Ocean the Crowd
137(1)
Ages and Ages Returning at Intervals
137(1)
We Two, How Long We Were Fool'd
138(1)
O Hymen! O Hymenee!
139(1)
I Am He that Aches with Love
139(1)
Native Moments
140(1)
Once I Pass'd Through a Populous City
140(1)
I Heard You Solemn-Sweet Pipes of the Organ
141(1)
Facing West from California's Shores
141(1)
As Adam Early in the Morning
142(1)
CALAMUS
In Paths Untrodden
143(1)
Scented Herbage of My Breast
144(2)
Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand
146(2)
For You O Democracy
148(1)
These I Singing in Spring
149(2)
Not Heaving from My Ribb'd Breast Only
151(1)
Of the Terrible Doubt of Appearances
152(1)
The Base of All Metaphysics
153(1)
Recorders Ages Hence
154(1)
When I Heard at the Close of the Day
154(1)
Are You the New Person Drawn toward Me?
155(1)
Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone
156(1)
Not Heat Flames up and Consumes
157(1)
Trickle Drops
157(1)
City of Orgies
158(1)
Behold This Swarthy Face
159(1)
I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing
159(1)
To a Stranger
160(1)
This Moment Yearning and Thoughtful
161(1)
I Hear It Was Charged against Me
161(1)
The Prairie-Grass Dividing
162(1)
When I Peruse the Conquer'd Fame
162(1)
We Two Boys Together Clinging
163(1)
A Promise to California
163(1)
Here the Frailest Leaves of Me
164(1)
No Labor-Saving Machine
164(1)
A Glimpse
164(1)
A Leaf for Hand in Hand
165(1)
Earth, My Likeness
165(1)
I Dream'd in a Dream
166(1)
What Think You I Take My Pen in Hand?
166(1)
To the East and to the West
167(1)
Sometimes with One I Love
167(1)
To a Western Boy
167(1)
Fast-Anchor'd Eternal O Love!
168(1)
Among the Multitude
168(1)
O You Whom I Often and Silently Come
168(1)
That Shadow My Likeness
169(1)
Full of Life Now
169(115)
Salut Au Monde!
170(14)
Song Of The Open Road
184(14)
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
198(9)
Song Of The Answerer
207(6)
Our Old Feuillage
213(7)
A Song Of Joys
220(10)
Song Of The Broad-Axe
230(15)
Song Of The Exposition
245(13)
Song Of The Redwood-Tree
258(6)
A Song For Occupations
264(11)
A Song Of The Rolling Earth
275(8)
Youth, Day, Old Age And Night
283(1)
BIRDS OF PASSAGE
Song of the Universal
284(3)
Pioneers! O Pioneers!
287(6)
To You
293(3)
France, The 18th Year of these States
296(2)
Myself and Mine
298(2)
Year of Meteors (1859-60)
300(2)
With Antecedents
302(8)
A Broadway Pageant
304(6)
SEA-DRIFT
Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
310(8)
As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life
318(4)
Tears
322(1)
To the Man-of-War-Bird
323(1)
Aboard at a Ship's Helm
324(1)
On the Beach at Night
325(1)
The World Below the Brine
326(1)
On the Beach at Night Alone
327(1)
Song for All Seas, All Ships
328(1)
Patroling Barnegat
329(1)
After the Sea-Ship
330(2)
BY THE ROADSIDE
A Boston Ballad-1854
332(3)
Europe, The 72d and 73d Years of These States
335(2)
A Hand-Mirror
337(1)
Gods
338(1)
Germs
339(1)
Thoughts
339(1)
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
340(1)
Perfections
340(1)
O Me! O Life!
341(1)
To a President
341(1)
I Sit and Look Out
342(1)
To Rich Givers
342(1)
The Dalliance of the Eagles
343(1)
Roaming in Thought
344(1)
A Farm Picture
344(1)
A Child's Amaze
344(1)
The Runner
344(1)
Beautiful Women
345(1)
Mother and Babe
345(1)
Thought
345(1)
Visor'd
345(1)
Thought
346(1)
Gilding o'er All
346(1)
Hast Never Come to Thee an Hour
346(1)
Thought
346(1)
To Old Age
347(1)
Locations and Times
347(1)
Offerings
347(1)
To the States, To Identify the 16th, 17th, or 18th Presidentiad
347(2)
DRUM-TAPS
First O Songs for a Prelude
349(3)
Eighteen Sixty-one
352(1)
Beat! Beat! Drums!
353(1)
From Paumanok Starting I Fly like a Bird
354(1)
Song of the Banner at Daybreak
355(9)
Rise O Days from Your Fathomless Deeps
364(3)
Virginia---The West
367(1)
City of Ships
368(1)
The Centenarian's Story
369(6)
Cavalry Crossing a Ford
375(1)
Bivouac on a Mountain Side
376(1)
An Army Corps on the March
376(1)
By the Bivouac's Fitful Flame
377(1)
Come Up from the Fields Father
377(3)
Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night
380(1)
A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest, and the Road Unknown
381(2)
A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim
383(1)
As Toilsome I Wander'd Virginia's Woods
384(1)
Not the Pilot
385(1)
Year That Trembled and Reel'd Beneath Me
385(1)
The Wound-Dresser
385(4)
Long, Too Long America
389(1)
Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun
390(2)
Dirge for Two Veterans
392(2)
Over the Carnage Rose Prophetic a Voice
394(1)
I Saw Old General at Bay
395(1)
The Artilleryman's Vision
396(2)
Ethiopia Saluting the Colors
398(1)
Not Youth Pertains to Me
398(1)
Race of Veterans
399(1)
World Take Good Notice
399(1)
O Tan-Faced Prairie-Boy
400(1)
Look Down Fair Moon
400(1)
Reconciliation
400(1)
How Solemn as One by One
401(1)
As I Lay with My Head in Your Lap Camerado
401(1)
Delicate Cluster
402(1)
To a Certain Civilian
403(1)
Lo, Victress on the Peaks
403(1)
Spirit Whose Work Is Done
404(1)
Adieu to a Soldier
405(1)
Turn O Libertad
406(1)
To the Leaven'd Soil They Trod
407(1)
MEMORIES OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN
When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd
408(12)
O Captain! My Captain!
420(1)
Hush'd Be the Camps To-day
421(1)
This Dust Was Once the Man
422(23)
By Blue Ontario's Shore
422(22)
Reversals
444(1)
AUTUMN RIVULETS
As Consequent etc.
445(2)
The Return of the Heroes
447(7)
There Was a Child Went Forth
454(3)
Old Ireland
457(1)
The City Dead-House
458(1)
This Compost
459(3)
To a Foil'd European Revolutionaire
462(2)
Unnamed Lands
464(2)
Song of Prudence
466(4)
The Singer in the Prison
470(2)
Warble for Lilac-Time
472(2)
Outlines for a Tomb
474(3)
Out from Behind This Mask
477(1)
Vocalism
478(2)
To Him That Was Crucified
480(1)
You Felons on Trial in Courts
481(1)
Laws for Creations
482(1)
To a Common Prostitute
482(1)
I Was Looking a Long While
483(1)
Thought
484(1)
Miracles
484(1)
Sparkles from the Wheel
485(1)
To a Pupil
486(1)
Unfolded Out of the Folds
487(1)
What Am I After All
488(1)
Kosmos
489(1)
Others May Praise What They Like
490(1)
Who Learns My Lesson Complete?
490(2)
Tests
492(1)
The Torch
492(1)
O Star of France (1870-71)
493(2)
The Ox-Tamer
495(1)
An Old Man's Thought of School
496(1)
Wandering at Morn
497(1)
Italian Music in Dakota
498(1)
With All Thy Gifts
499(1)
My Picture-Gallery
499(1)
The Prairie States
500(47)
Proud Music Of The Storm
500(9)
Passage To India
509(12)
Prayer Of Columbus
521(4)
The Sleepers
525(12)
Transpositions
537(1)
To Think Of Time
538(9)
WHISPERS OF HEAVENLY DEATH
Darest Thou Now O Soul
547(1)
Whispers of Heavenly Death
548(1)
Chanting the Square Deific
549(3)
Of Him I Love Day and Night
552(1)
Yet, Yet, Ye Downcast Hours
553(1)
As If a Phantom Caress'd Me
553(1)
Assurances
554(1)
Quicksand Years
555(1)
That Music Always Round Me
555(1)
What Ship Puzzled at Sea
556(1)
A Noiseless Patient Spider
556(1)
O Living Always, Always Dying
557(1)
To One Shortly to Die
557(1)
Night on the Prairies
558(1)
Thought
559(1)
The Last Invocation
560(1)
As I Watch'd the Ploughman Ploughing
561(1)
Pensive and Faltering
561(9)
Thou Mother With Thy Equal Brood
561(8)
A Paumanok Picture
569(1)
FROM NOON TO STARRY NIGHT
Thou Orb Aloft Full-Dazzling
570(1)
Faces
571(6)
The Mystic Trumpeter
577(4)
To a Locomotive in Winter
581(2)
O Magnet-South
583(1)
Mannahatta
584(2)
All Is Truth
586(1)
A Riddle Song
587(2)
Excelsior
589(1)
Ah Poverties, Wincings, and Sulky Retreats
590(1)
Thoughts
590(1)
Mediums
591(1)
Weave In, My Hardy Life
592(1)
Spain, 1873-74
593(1)
By Broad Potomac's Shore
593(1)
From Far Dakota's Canons
594(1)
Old War-Dreams
595(1)
Thick-Sprinkled Bunting
596(1)
What Best I See in Thee
597(1)
Spirit That Form'd This Scene
597(1)
As I Walk These Broad Majestic Days
598(1)
A Clear Midnight
599(1)
SONGS OF PARTING
As the Time Draws Nigh
600(1)
Years of the Modern
600(2)
Ashes of Soldiers
602(3)
Thoughts
605(2)
Song at Sunset
607(3)
As at Thy Portals Also Death
610(1)
My Legacy
611(1)
Pensive on Her Dead Gazing
611(2)
Camps of Green
613(1)
The Sobbing of the Bells
614(1)
As They Draw to a Close
615(1)
Joy, Shipmate, Joy!
615(1)
The Untold Want
616(1)
Portals
616(1)
These Carols
616(1)
Now Finale to the Shore
616(1)
So Long!
617(5)
FIRST ANNEX: SANDS AT SEVENTY
Mannahatta
622(1)
Paumanok
622(1)
From Montauk Point
623(1)
To Those Who've Fail'd
623(1)
A Carol Closing Sixty-nine
623(1)
The Bravest Soldiers
624(1)
A Font of Type
624(1)
As I Sit Writing Here
625(1)
My Canary Bird
625(1)
Queries to My Seventieth Year
625(1)
The Wallabout Martyrs
626(1)
The First Dandelion
626(1)
America
626(1)
Memories
627(1)
To-day and Thee
627(1)
After the Dazzle of Day
627(1)
Abraham Lincoln, Born Feb. 12, 1809
628(1)
Out of May's Shows Selected
628(1)
Halcyon Days
628(1)
Fancies at Navesink
629(4)
Election Day, November 1884
633(1)
With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea!
634(1)
Death of General Grant
635(1)
Red Jacket (from Aloft)
636(1)
Washington's Monument, February, 1885
636(1)
Of That Blithe Throat of Thine
637(1)
Broadway
638(1)
To Get the Final Lilt of Songs
638(1)
Old Salt Kossabone
639(1)
The Dead Tenor
640(1)
Continuities
640(1)
Yonnondio
641(1)
Life
642(1)
``Going Somewhere''
642(1)
Small the Theme of May Chant
643(1)
True Conquerors
643(1)
The United States to Old World Critics
644(1)
The Calming Thought of All
644(1)
Thanks in Old Age
645(1)
Life and Death
646(1)
The Voice of the Rain
646(1)
Soon Shall the Winter's Foil Be Here
647(1)
While Not the Past Forgetting
647(1)
The Dying Veteran
648(1)
Stronger Lessons
649(1)
A Prairie Sunset
649(1)
Twenty Years
649(1)
Orange Buds by Mail from Florida
650(1)
Twilight
651(1)
You Lingering Sparse Leaves of Me
651(1)
Not Meagre, Latent Boughs Alone
651(1)
The Dead Emperor
652(1)
As the Greek's Signal Flame
652(1)
The Dismantled Ship
652(1)
Now Precedent Songs Farewell
653(1)
An Evening Lull
654(1)
Old Age's Lambent Peaks
654(1)
After the Supper and Talk
655(1)
SECOND ANNEX: GOOD-BYE MY FANCY
Preface Note to 2d Annex
656(3)
Sail Out for Good, Eidolon Yacht!
659(1)
Lingering Last Drops
659(1)
Good-Bye my Fancy
660(1)
On, On the Same, Ye Jocund Twain!
660(1)
My 71st Year
661(1)
Apparitions
662(1)
The Pallid Wreath
662(1)
An Ended Day
662(1)
Old Age's Ship & Crafty Death's
663(1)
To the Pending Year
664(1)
Shakespere-Bacon's Cipher
664(1)
Long, Long Hence
665(1)
Bravo, Paris Exposition!
665(1)
Interpolation Sounds
665(2)
To the Sun-set Breeze
667(1)
Old Chants
668(1)
A Christmas Greeting
669(1)
Sounds of the Winter
669(1)
A Twilight Song
670(1)
When the Full-Grown Poet Came
671(1)
Osceola
672(1)
A Voice from Death
673(2)
A Persian Lesson
675(1)
The Commonplace
676(1)
``The Rounded Catalogue Divine Complete''
676(1)
Mirages
677(1)
L. of G.'s Purport
678(1)
The Unexpress'd
678(1)
Grand Is the Seen
679(1)
Unseen Buds
680(1)
Good-Bye my Fancy!
680(25)
A Backward Glance O'er Travel'd Roads
682(23)
Notes 705(28)
Selected Bibliography 733(2)
Commentary 735(16)
Reading Group Guide 751

Excerpts

ONE'S-SELF I SING.


One's-self I sing, a simple separate person,

Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse.


Of physiology from top to toe I sing,

Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the Muse, I say the Form complete is worthier far,

The Female equally with the Male I sing.


Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,

Cheerful, for freest action form'd under the laws divine,

The Modern Man I sing.



AS I PONDER'D IN SILENCE.


As I ponder' in silence,

Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long,

A Phantom arose before me with distrustful aspect,

Terrible in beauty, age, and power,

The genius of poets of old lands,

As to me directing like flame its eyes,

With finger pointing to many immortal songs,

And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said,

Know'st thou not there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards?

And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles,

The making of perfect soldiers.


Be it so,
then I answer'd,

I too haughty Shade also sing war, and a longer and greater one than any,

Waged in my book with varying fortune, with flight, advance and retreat, victory deferr&rsquod and wavering,

(Yet methinks certain, or as good as certain, at the last,) the field the world,

For life and death, for the Body and for the eternal Soul,

Lo, I too am come, chanting the chant of battles,

I above all promote brave soldiers.




IN CABIN'D SHIPS AT SEA.


In cabin'd ships at sea,

The boundless blue on every side expanding,

With whistling winds and music of the waves, the large imperious waves,

Or some lone bark buoy'd on the dense marine,

Where joyous full of faith, spreading white sails,

She cleaves the ether mid the sparkle and the foam of day, or under many a star at night,

By sailors young and old haply will I, a reminiscence of the land, be read,

In full rapport at last.


Here are our thoughts, voyagers' thoughts,

Here not the land, firm land, alone appears,
may then by them be said,

The sky o'arches here, we feel the undulating deck beneath our feet,

We feel the long pulsation, ebb and flow of endless motion,

The tones of unseen mystery, the vague and vast suggestions of the briny world, the liquid-flowing syllables,

The perfume, the faint creaking of the cordage, the melancholy rhythm,

The boundless vista and the horizon far and dim are all here,

And this is ocean's poem.



Then falter not O book, fulfil your destiny,

You not a reminiscence of the land alone,

You too as a lone bark cleaving the ether, purpos'd I know not whither, yet ever full of faith,

Consort to every ship that sails, sail you!

Bear forth to them folded my love, (dear mariners, for you I fold it here in every leaf;)

Speed on my book! spread your white sails my little bark athwart the imperious waves,

Chant on, sail on, bear o'er the boundless blue from me to every sea,

This song for mariners and all their ships.


From the eBook edition.

Excerpted from Leaves of Grass: The Death-Bed by Walt Whitman
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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