Leaves of Grass

Leaves of Grass

The Original 1855 Edition

By Walt Whitman

Dover Publications, Paperback, 9780486456768, 113pp.

Publication Date: February 27, 2007

Description
In 1855, Walt Whitman published at his own expense the first edition of "Leaves of Grass," a visionary volume oftwelve poems. Showing the influence of a uniquely American form of mysticism known as Transcendentalism, which eschewed the general society and culture of the time, thewriting is distinguished byan explosively innovative free verse style and previously unmentionable subject matter. Exalting nature, celebrating the human body, and praising the senses and sexual love, the monumental work was condemned as "immoral." Whitman continued evolving "Leaves of Grass" despite the controversy, growing his influential work decades after its first appearance by adding new poems with each new printing.
This edition presents the originaltwelve poems from Whitman's premier 1855 publication of "Leaves of Grass." Included are some of the greatest poems of modern times: "Song of Myself," "I Sing the Body Electric," and "There Was a Child Went Forth," works that continue toupset conventional notions of beauty and originality even today.


About the Author
Walt Whitman was an American poet and writer born in New York in 1819. Despite his family s financial troubles, Whitman attended school and, after graduating at age eleven, worked in a lawyer s office before becoming a printer s apprentice. Before he had even turned sixteen Whitman began anonymously publishing his poetry at the Long Island Star, where he worked. After leaving the Star, Whitman moved through several jobs including teaching, publishing and typesetting. Eventually, though, Whitman determined to make his living writing poetry, and paid for the first publication of Leaves of Grass himself when he was thirty-seven. At the time of its publication, Leaves of Grass was met with controversy and was criticized for its overtly sexual themes, however, but it has since come to be one of the most important works in early American literature and a product of the transcendentalist movement. Whitman died in 1892 at the age of seventy-two.