Leaves of Grass

Leaves of Grass

The Original 1855 Edition

By Walt Whitman

Dover Publications, Paperback, 9780486456768, 113pp.

Publication Date: February 2007

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
Born in 1819 in Long Island, New York, Walt Whitman was a poet, essayist, and journalist best known for Leaves of Grass (first published in 1855) and the poems "Song of Myself " and "I Sing the Body Electric." In the early years of the Civil War, Whitman traveled to Washington, D.C., to search for his brother, who was reported missing in action. Whitman stayed in Washington and volunteered as an aide in the hospitals, tending to sick and wounded soldiers. One of the first American poets to gain international attention, Whitman died in 1862 in Camden, New Jersey.