The Portable Walt Whitman

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-12-30
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics

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When Walt Whitman self-published Leaves of Grassin 1855 it was a slim volume of twelve poems and he was a journalist and poet from Long Island, little-known but full of ambition and poetic fire. To give a new voice to the new nation shaken by civil war, he spent his entire life revising and adding to the work, but his initial act of bravado in answering Ralph Waldo Emerson's call for a national poet has made Whitman the quintessential American writer. This rich cross-section of his work includes poems from throughout Whitman's lifetime as published on his deathbed edition of 1891, short stories, his prefaces to the many editions of Leaves of Grass, and a variety of prose selections, including Democratic Vistas, Specimen Days, and Slang in America.

Author Biography

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was born on Long Island and educated in Brooklyn, New York. He served as a printer's devil, journeyman compositor, itinerant schoolteacher, editor, and unofficial nurse to Northern and Southern soldiers. Michael Warner is professor of English at Rutgers University. His most recent works include American Sermons: The Pilgrims to Martin Luther King, and his essays and journalism have appeared in the Village Voice, the Nation, and other magazines.

Table of Contents

Song of Myselfp. 3
A Song for Occupationsp. 68
To Think of Timep. 77
The Sleepersp. 84
I Sing the Body Electricp. 94
Facesp. 103
There Was a Child Went Forthp. 108
Who Learns My Lesson Complete?p. 111
Unfolded Out of the Foldsp. 113
Song of the Broad-Axep. 114
To Youp. 126
This Compostp. 129
Crossing Brooklyn Ferryp. 132
Song of the Open Roadp. 139
A Woman Waits for Mep. 151
To a Foil'd European Revolutionairep. 153
Spontaneous Mep. 155
A Song of the Rolling Earthp. 158
Starting from Paumanokp. 165
From Pent-up Aching Riversp. 179
Me Imperturbep. 182
I Hear America Singingp. 183
As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Lifep. 184
You Felons on Trial in Courtsp. 188
The World below the Brinep. 189
I Sit and Look Outp. 190
All Is Truthp. 191
Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rockingp. 192
Native Momentsp. 199
Once I Pass'd through a Populous Cityp. 200
Once I Pass'd through a Populous City [draft version]p. 201
Facing West from California's Shoresp. 202
As Adam Early in the Morningp. 203
Live Oak, with Mossp. 204
Not Heat Flames up and Consumesp. 204
I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growingp. 204
When I Heard at the Close of the Dayp. 205
This Moment Yearning and Thoughtfulp. 206
Calamus 8: "Long I thought that knowledge alone would suffice me"p. 206
What Think You I Take My Pen in Hand?p. 207
Recorders Ages Hence!p. 207
Calamus 9: "Hours continuing long, sore and heavy-hearted"p. 208
I Dreamed in a Dreamp. 209
O You Whom I Often and Silently Comep. 209
Earth! My Likenessp. 209
To a Western Boyp. 210
In Paths Untroddenp. 211
Scented Herbage of My Breastp. 211
Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Handp. 213
For You O Democracyp. 215
These I Singing in Springp. 215
Of the Terrible Doubt of Appearancesp. 217
The Base of All Metaphysis [added 1871]p. 218
Are You the New Person Drawn toward Me?p. 218
Roots and Leaves Themselves Alonep. 219
Of Him I Love Day and Nightp. 219
City of Orgiesp. 220
To a Strangerp. 221
I Hear It Was Charged against Mep. 221
We Two Boys Together Clingingp. 221
Here the Frailest Leaves of Mep. 222
A Glimpsep. 222
Sometimes with One I Lovep. 222
Among the Multitudep. 223
That Shadow My Likenessp. 223
Full of Life Nowp. 223
To Him That Was Crucifiedp. 225
To a Common Prostitutep. 226
To Youp. 227
Mannahattap. 228
A Hand-Mirrorp. 230
Visor'dp. 231
As if a Phantom Caress'd Mep. 232
So Long!p. 233
Shut Not Your Doorsp. 237
Beat! Beat! Drums!p. 237
City of Shipsp. 238
Cavalry Crossing a Fordp. 239
Bivouac on a Mountain Sidep. 239
An Army Corps on the March [1865-66]p. 240
By the Bivouac's Fitful Flamep. 240
Come Up from the Fields Fatherp. 241
Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Nightp. 242
A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest, and the Road Unknownp. 244
A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dimp. 245
As Toilsome I Wander'd Virginia's Woodsp. 246
The Wound-Dresserp. 246
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomerp. 249
A Farm Picturep. 250
Give Me the Splendid Silent Sunp. 250
To a Certain Civilianp. 252
Years of the Modernp. 252
Over the Carnage Rose Prophetic a Voicep. 254
As I Lay with My Head in Your Lap Camerado [1865-66]p. 255
Out of the Rolling Ocean the Crowdp. 255
I Saw Old General at Bayp. 256
Look Down Fair Moonp. 256
Reconciliation [1865-66]p. 257
When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd [1865-66]p. 257
O Captain! My Captain! [1865-66]p. 267
Old War-Dreams [1865-66]p. 267
Chanting the Square Deific [1865-66]p. 268
I Heard You Solemn-Sweet Pipes of the Organ [1865-66]p. 270
One's Self I Singp. 271
The Runnerp. 272
When I Read the Bookp. 273
Passage to Indiap. 274
Proud Music of the Stormp. 285
A Noiseless Patient Spiderp. 292
The Last Invocationp. 293
On the Beach at Nightp. 294
Sparkles from the Wheelp. 296
Godsp. 297
Joy, Shipmate, Joy!p. 298
Ethiopia Saluting the Colorsp. 299
The Mystic Trumpeterp. 300
Prayer of Columbusp. 304
To a Locomotive in Winterp. 307
The Ox-Tamerp. 309
The Dalliance of the Eaglesp. 310
A Clear Midnightp. 311
As I Sit Writing Herep. 312
Broadwayp. 313
Unseen Budsp. 314
Good-bye My Fancy!p. 315
"The Child's Champion"p. 319
Preface to Leaves of Grass, 1855p. 330
Letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Leaves of Grass, 1856p. 352
Preface to "As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free," 1872p. 363
Preface to the Centennial Edition of Leaves of Grass, 1876p. 368
"A Backward Glance O'er Travel'd Roads," 1888p. 378
Democratic Vistasp. 395
From Specimen Daysp. 463
"Slang in America"p. 557
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 563
Index of Titles and First Linesp. 565
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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