Leaves of Grass

The "Death-Bed" Edition

By Walt Whitman
Modern Library, Hardcover, 9780679600763, 736pp.

Publication Date: October 12, 1993

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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.

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

Friday, Jul 4, 2014

For "This Week's Must-Read" poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips turns to Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, the man who first heard America singing. More at NPR.org

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