By David S. Reynolds
Few authors are so compatible to historic examine as Whitman, who's greatly thought of America's maximum poet. This advisor combines modern cultural reports 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 assumption of democracy. The poet who emerges from this quantity isn't any "solitary singer," distanced from his tradition, yet what he himself known as "the age transfigured," absolutely enmeshed in his instances and addressing matters which are nonetheless very important at the present time.
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Additional resources for A Historical Guide to Walt Whitman (Historical Guides to American Authors)
NUPM, I:353. 57. LGC, 134. 58. WWC, I:417. 59. LGC, 660. 60. New York Saturday Press, January 7,1860. 61. NUPM, I:417. 62. William Thayer and Charles Eldridge to Whitman, letter of February 10,1860. Feinberg Collection, Library of Congress. 63. LGC, 310. 64. WWC, III:95. 65. PW,II:429. 66. "First O Songs for a Prelude," LGC, 281. 67. PW,I:6o. 68. PW,II:5o8. 69. Peter Doyle to Whitman, letter of September 27, 1868. Morgan Library (New York). 70. WWC, IV:195. 71. WWC, III:543. 72. NUPM, II:888-89.
In the twentieth century, he has nurtured an industry of scholarship and has inspired writers, artists, and musicians. His liberation of the poetic line from formal rhythm and rhyme was a landmark event with which all poets since have had to come to terms. His equally bold treatment of erotic themes has contributed to the candid discussion of sex in the larger culture. His boundless love and all-inclusive language make his writing attractive and exciting for practically all readers. 40 Walt Whitman NOTES 1.
When he was visited by Alcott and Thoreau, he seemed lazy and slow, enjoying stretching out on a couch for long talks. "54 Although he continued to write poems, Whitman also fantasized about reaching the people directly by becoming a traveling lecturer. "55 He even printed a circular that advertised "Walt Whitman's Lectures," but nothing came of the project. Poetically, he was still driven by a messianic spirit. "56 Presumably, he aimed to produce 365 poems—a not unrealistic expectation, given that, at the time, he was writing so furiously that the third edition of Leaves of Grass would contain a hundred new ones.
A Historical Guide to Walt Whitman (Historical Guides to American Authors) by David S. Reynolds