Leaves of Grass

By Walt Whitman
Bantam Books, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780553211160, 496pp.

Publication Date: June 1983

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One of the great innovative figures in American letters, Walt Whitman created a daringly new kind of poetry that became a major force in world literature. Leaves Of Grass is his one book.  First published in 1855 with only twelve poems, it was greeted by Ralph Waldo Emerson as "the wonderful gift . . . the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed."  Over the course of Whitman's life, the book reappeared in many versions, expanded and transformed as the author's experiences and the nation's history changed and grew.  Whitman's ambition was to creates something uniquely American.  In that he succeeded.  His poems have been woven into the very fabric of the American character.  From his solemn masterpieces "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" and "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" to the joyous freedom of "Song of Myself," "I Sing the Body Electric," and "Song of the Open Road," Whitman's work lives on, an inspiration to the poets of later generations.

About the Author
Walt Whitman (West Hills, Estado de Nova Iorque, 1819; Camden, Nova Jersei, 1892). Poeta, jornalista, escritor. Mudou-se para o Brooklyn em 1824, onde frequentou escola publica, trabalhou em escritorios ate entrar para tipografia como aprendiz em 1834. Nesse oficio tambem aprendeu a profissao de jornalista. Trabalhou em muitos jornais do Brooklyn e Nova Iorque e militou na politica partidaria. Em 1848 vai a Nova Orleans como editor na equipe do The Crescent. Fica apenas tres meses. Em 1849 abandona a politica para se dedicar a poesia. Em 1855 publica a primeira edicao de Folhas de Relva. O poema central e "Cancao de Mim Mesmo," uma elegia ao "eu." Em 1856, publica a segunda edicao e em 1860 a terceira. A ultima e a do Leito de Morte, de 1891-92. Em 1862 muda-se para Washington e percorre o cenario da Guerra de Secessao, iniciando seu trabalho de enfermeiro voluntario nos hospitais da capital. No periodo em Washington escreve Repiques de Tambor e Memorias do Presidente Lincoln. Em 1873 tem um ataque de paralisia e perde a mae. Em 1874 muda-se para Camden, Nova Jersei, onde reside ate o fim da vida.

Praise For Leaves of Grass

"Whitman's best poems have that permanent quality of being freshly painted, of not being dulled by the varnish of the years."
--Malcolm Cowley

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