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*Read Ebook õ Leaves of Grass and Other Writings à This Revised Norton Critical Edition Contains The Most Complete And Authoritative Collection Of Whitman S Work Available In A Paperback Student Edition The Text Of Leaves Of Grass Is Again That Of The Indispensable Reader S Comprehensive Edition, Edited By Sculley Bradley And Harold W Blodgett, Which Is Accompanied By Revised And Expanded Explanatory Annotations New To This Edition Is The Full Text Of The Celebrated First Edition Of Leaves Of Grass, As Well As Generous Excerpts From Whitman S Two Prose Masterpieces, Democratic Vistas And Specimen DaysFollowing The Texts Is An Album Of Portraits Of Whitman, As Well As Whitman On His Art, A Collection Of Whitman S Statements About His Role As A Poet Taken From His Notebooks, Letters, Conversations, And Newspaper ArticlesWhile Continuing To Provide Leading Commentary On Whitman By Major Twentieth Century Poets And Critics, Among Them D H Lawrence, William Carlos Williams, And Randall Jarrell, This Revised Edition Adds Important Commentary By Whitman Contemporaries Henry David Thoreau, Fanny Fern, Henry James, And Oscar Wilde, Among Others An Entirely New Section Of Recent Criticism Includes Six Essays By David S Reynolds, Karen Sanchez Eppler, John Irwin, Allen Grossman, Betsy Erkkila, And Michael Moon That Reflect Both The Continuing Historicist Mainstream Of Whitman Literary Interpretation And Influential Recent Work In Gender And Sexuality StudiesThe Volume Also Includes A Chronology, A Selected Bibligraphy, And An Index Of Titles The poems distilled from other poems will probably pass away The coward will surely pass away The expectation of the vital and great can only be satisfied by the demeanor of the vital and great The swarms of the polished deprecating and reflectors and the polite float off and leave no remembrance America prepares with composure and goodwill for the visitors that have sent word It is not intellect that is to be their warrant and welcome The talented, the artist, the ingenious, the editor, the statesman, the erudite they are not unappreciated they fall in their place and do their work The soul of the nation also does its work No disguise can pass on it no disguise can conceal from it It rejects none, it permits all Only toward as good as itself and toward the like of itself will it advance half way An individual is as superb as a nation when he has the qualities which make a superb nation The soul of the largest and wealthiest and proudest nation may well go half way to meet that of its poets The signs are effectual There is no fear of mistake If the one is true the other is true The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it. They are lines in Song Of Myself that almost feel alien, as though a human man from this planet could not have written such beautiful, generous, true, and altruistic words Inspired by the greatest summits of the human possibility, without arrogance or pride and infused with humanism, the all encompassing kind, Whitman s poetry is mystical to me, yet never remote He seems to have been given the key to Arcadia, that pastoral and wonderful secret place the Greeks dreamed about.As a bisexual person, I have yet to read anything that embodies the essence of how I view my own bisexuality than here, in Song Of Myself where at one time Whitman sleeps peacefully in the arms of his male lover without ever diminshing the love he feels for the woman he holds in his heart.Fluid, natural, without guilt but always accountable I love him so much He is a gentle giant and a friend and father to us all who read him. Genius The verse cannot be parsed in a single reading, but as you study the text Whitman s optimistic, sprawling, solipsistic vision of America sucks you in. America is big The land is big, the ideals are big, the ego is big, the dreams are big, even the people are big Our suburbs sprawl out over acres and acres of territory, our massive houses given massive plots of land where other nations might fit two houses, our states the size of nations, our nation the size of a continent Walt Whitman is the poet of this American bigness He tries to contain it all, to pack all of these people, all of these dreams, and all this territory into his poetry Is it any wonder that his lines runneth over, that each of his narrators is both Walt Whitman and you the reader and the embodiment of the nation packed with all personality traits good and bad, that one of his poems runs over fifty pages, that his only book of poems runs about five hundred pages, that there were six or editions and it bustles with annexes, emendations, and editions There just wouldn t be enough space otherwise.Yet as huge as the subject matter is, there is an extraordinary intimacy, physicality and unity to these poems He did not just write of the universal, though that was his main theme displayed most effectively in the Calumnus section Various books in Leaves of Grass successfully examine specific subject matter Drum Taps is a bellicose but grounded portrait of the Civil War Whitman embraced the war to save the Union, and his poems about those events reflect both the terrible cost of the war and its terrible necessity He also reflects movingly on mortality in On the Beach and Passage to India Death was simply another voyage to him he believed that the human soul could never die but he reflected almost morbidly on death near the end of his life Songs of Parting is a stirring farewell, and a vision of the future.The best of these poems are magnificent flowing opuses The lists and exhalations gain steam over the course of the poem, rambling through all of America in its bigness One cannot help but admire how Whitman expanded his meter to reflect his expansive theme, how the confines of rhyme could not keep him shackled The only reason why I didn t love all of these poems is I think Whitman runs into a problem How, when you write a set of poems about the universal, do you keep them from running together Poems where the narrator is every person, where the narrator accepts all human characteristics, celebrates all professions, manifests all locations simultaneously and projects to the past and future are indeed dazzling But once you ve written a poem of the universal, you ve written it A poem that encompasses everything needs no sequel At a certain point, Whitman is just repeating himself There were just a few too many sections of Leaves of Grass that blended together, ran a bit too long, rambled a bit too much Nonetheless, what a remarkable set of poems wide in its breadth, filled with inexhaustible optimism, accepting and tolerant of man and woman, sinner and saint, nature and city, faith and science, and all of the vast attributes of humanity It seems to me that this must be the beginning of uniquely American literature.