Leaves of Grass

Leaves of Grass

A collection of quintessentially American poems, the seminal work of one of the most influential writers of the nineteenth century. THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES: A concise introduction that gives readers important background informationA chronology of the author's life and workA timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical contextAn outline...

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Title:Leaves of Grass
Author:Walt Whitman
Rating:
ISBN:1416523715
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:624 pages

Leaves of Grass Reviews

  • Selby
    Sep 11, 2007

    Whitman used to right fake reviews under false names for Leaves of Grass and send them to publishers, newspapers, and periodicals. I love that about him. So over the top. He had love for everything. Especially himself. As for the quality of the work the words speak for themselves:

    "This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not co

    Whitman used to right fake reviews under false names for Leaves of Grass and send them to publishers, newspapers, and periodicals. I love that about him. So over the top. He had love for everything. Especially himself. As for the quality of the work the words speak for themselves:

    "This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning god, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body..........."

  • Ben Wilson
    Nov 27, 2007

    Leaves of Grass is like reading every single instant message that I and a friend of mine ever wrote to one another over the course of the last ten years. Likely way too long, too self-serving and would have shocked the general public if they cared to read it when it was written. But nestled in there are some real, true brilliant moments.

    This is after all Whitman's life work, laid bare and un-edited for the most part. What else are we to expect? He is literally singing a song of himself, which he

    Leaves of Grass is like reading every single instant message that I and a friend of mine ever wrote to one another over the course of the last ten years. Likely way too long, too self-serving and would have shocked the general public if they cared to read it when it was written. But nestled in there are some real, true brilliant moments.

    This is after all Whitman's life work, laid bare and un-edited for the most part. What else are we to expect? He is literally singing a song of himself, which he believes to be American - and

    by all accounts. He shouts it loud and strong and

    until the reader gets it. But in there in that persistance is a thing of real, American beauty - a self-made man in love with his country and the people in it. Real unhumble patriotism. To understand this in all it's ragged glory is to understand Whitman and his America.

  • Collin
    Apr 12, 2008

    Holy shit this is self-important and tedious.

    --update: This has sat untouched on my desk all year. I can think of a hundred books I'd rather start than finish this, so I doubt I'll pick it back up unless I run out of books to read, I'm too poor to buy any more books, all my friends turn on me and refuse to loan me anything else, and all the nearby libraries are set on fire simultaneously.

  • Dan
    Jan 21, 2011

    Alright, my rating here is very misleading. I haven't read

    . I don't even intend to read Leaves Of Grass. Not all the way through any way. It seems sort of weird to just read a big fat collection of poetry all the way through. The five star rating is for one poem, "Song of the Open Road".

    I've never really appreciated poetry. I've liked song lyrics and that's poetry, but it seemed like I needed a tune to go with it. I've liked scripture which can be pretty poetic, but it seemed I n

    Alright, my rating here is very misleading. I haven't read

    . I don't even intend to read Leaves Of Grass. Not all the way through any way. It seems sort of weird to just read a big fat collection of poetry all the way through. The five star rating is for one poem, "Song of the Open Road".

    I've never really appreciated poetry. I've liked song lyrics and that's poetry, but it seemed like I needed a tune to go with it. I've liked scripture which can be pretty poetic, but it seemed I needed religious sentiment to go with it. Over the last few years , I've been trying to correct this character flaw, and I've felt like I was improving, but I didn't feel like I was there yet.

    So, I finished

    recently and it left me feeling afraid of commitment, so I took

    to work with me, so I'd have something to read on my lunch hour without feeling obligated to finish and that might help me grow in my appreciation of poetry. I looked in the table of contents and saw "Song of the Open Road" and thought that it might appeal to me as a runner/hiker guy and read it. Appeal to me, it did. I found myself reading it over and over again and having a very positive emotional reaction. It was visceral and inexplicable, so I won't try to detail it for you, but I thought as I was reading it, "This must be what appreciating poetry feels like."

    I wanted to memorize it and quote applicable sections at apropos moments to friends and family and all that other lame stuff that people who appreciate poetry do.

    So it gets five stars for providing me with something of a break through. I think I'll go read it again.

  • Teresa
    May 22, 2013

    "Adeus, minha Fantasia!

    Adeus, querida companheira, minha amada!

    Vou, mas não sei para onde vou,

    Nem qual será a minha sorte, nem se alguma vez nos voltaremos a ver,

    Por isso, adeus, minha Fantasia!

    Agora, a minha última vontade — deixa-me olhar para trás por um instante;

    Cada vez mais lento e leve o tiquetaque do relógio dentro de mim,

    Retirada, anoitecer, e em breve a surda palpitação que pára.

    Convivemos, alegrámo-nos e consolámo-nos durante muito tempo;

    Foi magnífico! — Agora separamo-nos — Adeus, mi

    "Adeus, minha Fantasia!

    Adeus, querida companheira, minha amada!

    Vou, mas não sei para onde vou,

    Nem qual será a minha sorte, nem se alguma vez nos voltaremos a ver,

    Por isso, adeus, minha Fantasia!

    Agora, a minha última vontade — deixa-me olhar para trás por um instante;

    Cada vez mais lento e leve o tiquetaque do relógio dentro de mim,

    Retirada, anoitecer, e em breve a surda palpitação que pára.

    Convivemos, alegrámo-nos e consolámo-nos durante muito tempo;

    Foi magnífico! — Agora separamo-nos — Adeus, minha Fantasia!

    Mas não me devo apressar,

    É verdade que muito convivemos, dormimos, purificámo-nos, fundimo-nos num verdadeiramente;

    Então, se temos de morrer, morramos juntos (sim, continuaremos a ser um),

    Se a algum lado temos de ir que o façamos juntos para enfrentar o que acontecer,

    Talvez sejamos mais afortunados e felizes, e aprendamos alguma coisa,

    Talvez sejas tu quem me mostra agora o caminho para os verdadeiros cantos (quem sabe?),

    Talvez sejas tu quem me faz girar a maçaneta da porta mortal — por isso, finalmente,

    Adeus, e boa viagem, minha Fantasia!"

  • Lauren Schumacher
    Aug 05, 2013

    When

    was first published, critics applauded Whitman "only that he did not burn" the "mass of stupid filth" immediately upon completion. They primarily objected to its sensual and occasionally (rather overtly) homoerotic content. Nowadays, of course, it seems entirely too mild to raise an objection on those grounds, but man, oh man, I understand the impulse to want to turn this book into kindling.

    This weighty poetic tome has all the we

    When

    was first published, critics applauded Whitman "only that he did not burn" the "mass of stupid filth" immediately upon completion. They primarily objected to its sensual and occasionally (rather overtly) homoerotic content. Nowadays, of course, it seems entirely too mild to raise an objection on those grounds, but man, oh man, I understand the impulse to want to turn this book into kindling.

    This weighty poetic tome has all the weaknesses inherent to self-publication: unjustified overlong length, tedious repetition of images and ideas, wildly uneven quality from one poem to the next, irritating authorial tics, and a pervasive self-important focus.

    It's really impossible to document the amazing repetitions in

    short of simply handing you the book itself. It is repetitive in syntax, in word choice, in tone, in content, in message, in perspective. And the collection is inexcusably padded past any hope of delivering the forceful emotional impact that poems are so uniquely capable of.

    And man, what gives with the crappy words!? English's strongest selling point as a language is its vast, incredibly nuanced vocabulary. It's not a particularly beautiful or intuitive dictionary, but the thesaurus is stellar--we have an endless supply of synonyms at our disposal. There's really no excuse for a native English-speaking poet to resort to such dull, texture-less language. Take this brief ditty,

    :

    Guys, did you know that winds whistle? Or that ship sails are white-gray? Or that the ocean has both "larger and smaller waves?" Are you kidding me? (And yes, that's the whole poem, by the way, I didn't pull him off the stage with a cane right before he got to the good part.)

    Am I being too unfair? Let's compare with another short, nautically-themed poem from a contemporary from the same transcendental school. Here is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's sonnet

    .

    Even given the additional constraints of rhyming meter, Wadsworth (whom I'm honestly not that excited about in general) manages to deliver a concise, impactful message with an interesting scope and vocabulary. Also,

    was not padded with flabby rephrasings of the same idea in an overlong collection. The point is, Whitman was mediocre, at best, even in his own time.

    I know I'm being a bit vicious, but from six hundred pages of poetry, I gathered fewer insights than from a collection of half-a-dozen from a better poet. I have already started reading a new poetry collection, and I'm compelled to read and reread, discovering new depths, awestruck at the emotional viscera. Reading

    was, in comparison, watching a slightly interesting shade of paint dry.

    The wide-eyed transcendental awe that Whitman is famous for grates under the relentless single-minded repetition. Whitman's spirit may have been remarkable, but his language is uninspired, hobbled by a limited vocabulary and overburdened by his didactic approach to inspiration. He tries too hard to educate and persuade, and sounds like a salesmen hustling flora and fauna door-to-door. The man's never met a thing he wasn't ready to romanticize: toiling farmers, shackled slaves, dying soldiers--they are noble savages, one and all.

    His relentless optimism at the splendor of America (politically, geographically, socially--every part of it is super-duper splendid, according to Walt) displays a total unwillingness to look critically at the world he lives in, which is a tremendous failure for a poet. Page after page documents the unending beauty of the territories he'd never visited, but there are only a handful of passing acknowledgements that Americans were actively slaughtering one another over the right to own other living humans. Whitman is not being naive here, but rather deliberately myopic.

    An extremely tedious "classic" that is really nothing more than rambling sermons from an inept poet. I can see someone being charmed by his incessant enthusiasm for life, but for a pragmatist like myself, I can't stomach the lack of emotional maturity. The world has all kinds of grace and majesty and stars and perfection, but it also has human beings killing other human beings for no clear reason. A robust poet can make sense of this dilemma--Whitman is no robust poet, so he merely turns away from it.

  • Samadrita
    Aug 24, 2014

    There's only so much rhetoric on American imperialism I can ingest and assimilate at a stretch. Later, Mr Whitman.

    (paused at 47%)

  • ❁ بــدريــه ❁
    Feb 07, 2015

    إليك ..

    أيها الغريب

    حين تمرّ بي ، وتريد أن تحدثني

    لمَ لا تحدّثني ؟

    ولمَ لا أحدّثك ؟

    _________________________

    والت ويتمان شاعرًا أرضيًا ، لا تملك قصيدته أحيانًا غير أسماء

    الأماكن و المدن وظواهر الطبيعة. وحتى اهتمامه بالأجرام

    السماوية ليس غير تأكيد لقوانينه الأرضية :

    " إن ورقة العشب ليست أقل حركة من النجوم "

    _____________________________________

    حياة والت ويتمان أشبه بخلاصة للحياة التي عاشها من قبله

    وسيعيشها من بعده، ولد العام 1819 في لونغ آيلاند، لم تدم

    دراسته طويلًا، إذ سرعان ما نراه يلتحق بالعم

    إليك ..

    أيها الغريب

    حين تمرّ بي ، وتريد أن تحدثني

    لمَ لا تحدّثني ؟

    ولمَ لا أحدّثك ؟

    _________________________

    والت ويتمان شاعرًا أرضيًا ، لا تملك قصيدته أحيانًا غير أسماء

    الأماكن و المدن وظواهر الطبيعة. وحتى اهتمامه بالأجرام

    السماوية ليس غير تأكيد لقوانينه الأرضية :

    " إن ورقة العشب ليست أقل حركة من النجوم "

    _____________________________________

    حياة والت ويتمان أشبه بخلاصة للحياة التي عاشها من قبله

    وسيعيشها من بعده، ولد العام 1819 في لونغ آيلاند، لم تدم

    دراسته طويلًا، إذ سرعان ما نراه يلتحق بالعمل، صبي مكتب، ثم

    عامل طباعة ثم معلمًا في مدرسة ثم صحافيًا متجولًا، وينخرط

    بعد ذلك في السياسة عضوًا في التجمعات الديموقراطية

    ويبدأ بنشر كتاباته، وأهمها في ذلك الحين الطبعة الأولى

    من" أوراق العشب ". وحين تندلع الحرب الأهلية يجنّد كمسعف

    ويعيش بين القتلى والجرحى تجربة قاسية سوف تطبعه دائمًا

    وبعد انقضاء الحرب يعود سيرته ويصدر كتابًا عن الحرب كما

    يكتب مرثاة لابراهام لنكولن حين تمّ اغتياله . وفي العام 1871

    يصدر"الرواية الديموقراطية". وفي العام 1873 يصاب بالشلل

    ويستقر في نيوجيرزي. ويمضي السنوات العشرين الأخيرة من

    حياته، حتى رحيله في العام 1892، بين مستقرّه لا يقطعه سوى

    تجوال سريع، وبين نشر كتبه وطبعات"أوراق العشب"المتتالية.

    _______________________________________

  • Araz Goran
    Oct 09, 2015

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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  • Lizzy
    Jan 02, 2017

    In

    sings nature and his symbiosis with America, he sings the universe and his awareness of it all, but above all he sings the people and their quest for individuality and immortality.

    And here he includes himself with all his mysticism and spiritual illuminations. In that, it is a celebration of humanity, his country and everything in it. Some parts of his poems were so bea

    In

    sings nature and his symbiosis with America, he sings the universe and his awareness of it all, but above all he sings the people and their quest for individuality and immortality.

    And here he includes himself with all his mysticism and spiritual illuminations. In that, it is a celebration of humanity, his country and everything in it. Some parts of his poems were so beautiful it spoke to me, however not all touched me. For one I am not American, and for other, he wrote it in another time that is long gone. But there are times when he comes through more our contemporary than many other writers I read.

    I loved him for his love of the common people, for his praise of the most unlucky human beings – like slaves and prostitutes – as for his sense of justice.

    It’s an ode to equality, and for that, we cannot praise him enough. His words sometimes sounded like music in my ears. It really sang to me.

    Sometimes playful, often insightful and timeless,

    is not to be missed.

    Let’s let Whitman speak for himself:

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    Finally, the three last superb stanzas:

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