Download A Historical Guide to Walt Whitman (Historical Guides to by David S. Reynolds PDF

By David S. Reynolds

Few authors are so like minded to old learn as Whitman, who's extensively thought of America's maximum poet. This consultant combines modern cultural stories and historic scholarship to light up Whitman's varied contexts. The essays discover dimensions of Whitman's dynamic dating to working-class politics, race and slavery, sexual mores, the visible arts, and the belief of democracy. The poet who emerges from this quantity is not any "solitary singer," distanced from his tradition, yet what he himself known as "the age transfigured," totally enmeshed in his occasions and addressing concerns which are nonetheless very important at the present time.

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PW,I:23. 3. "There Was a Child Went Forth," LGC, 365. 4. Horace Traubel, Richard Maurice Bucke, and Thomas B. , In Re Walt Whitman (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1893), 34. 5. LGC, 365. 6. WCP, 695. 7. WWC, III:205. 8. Henry M. Christian, ed. Walt Whitman's New York (New York: Macmillan, 1963), 57. 9. : Peter Smith, 1972), I:xxvi, n. 9. 10. WWC, I:194. n. All quotations in this paragraph are from WEP, 248-49. 12. See Horace Traubel, "Walt Whitman, Schoolmaster: Notes of a Conversation with Charles A.

When the book appeared in June, it contained 166 poems, 154 of them new. For the first time, the poems were arranged in clusters, among which were "Chants Democratic," focusing on society and politics, "Enfans d'Adam," on love between the sexes, and "Calamus," on comradeship and same-sex love. Handsomely printed and bound, the 1860 edition sold some 3,000 to 4,000 copies. " Thayer and Eldridge, despite its grandiose promises, fell into financial hard times and declared bankruptcy in January 1861.

46 Although his dream of being "absorbed" by his country was wildly overconfident, he did what he could to make it come true. He had been scribbling desultory snippets of poetry for years, using paper scraps and a notebook, but when he brought the passages together, added many new ones and a last-minute preface, he did so with a considerable amount of urgency. In the spring of 1855, he had 800 or so copies of his poems privately printed in Brooklyn. He filed for a copyright on May 15, and on July 5 the "first state" of the volume, with its wide and thin green binding and gold filigree lettering, was advertised for sale at local bookstores.

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