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Song of Myself (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – February 15, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

One of America's most influential and innovative poets, Walt Whitman (1819–92) worked as a teacher, journalist, and volunteer nurse during the Civil War. Proclaimed as the nation's first "poet of democracy," Whitman reached out to common readers and opposed censorship with his overt celebrations of sexuality

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Edition Unstated edition (February 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486414108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486414102
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Julie Jordan Scott on July 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Special preview note:

I have to say these reviews confuse me because I see nothing about Stephen Mitchell in the book I hold in my hands. I don't know where the reference comes from at all, so I am going to write as if I don't know what the reviewers are using as a reference to Mitchell... and now I see, those reviewers were reading an entirely different version of the book - so if you are interested in the Dover edition, my review stands. If you are looking at the Shambala edition, what I say still stands, for the most part... except I haven't read the Mitchell edits and now I understand some of the disdain! And it makes me VERY curious, would like to read both versions side-by-side.)

From the preface: This dover edition, first published in 2001, is a unabridged republication from the first 1855 edition of "Leaves of Grass."

I sat here, today, re-reading some of the sections I had highlighted from my first read of this epic-length-poem. I wondered, "What would the world be like if each of us took the time to write a 'Song of Myself' according to our own witness of the world we live within?

Walt Whitman does exactly that in this poem - he doesn't seek to be understood, he doesn't seek to please the reader, he is simply being present to his world and then capture his meandering path into words and serve it onto the page.

Then it is up to us, as the readers, to take our spoon-fuls of Whitman and savor each one.

There is much to be learned, experienced, enjoyed, discovered in these words within this very slim volume. Savor each one and consider writing your own song.

Now I am off to begin mine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By khw on December 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Reading Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself," he seems to have lived a thousand years and not yet lost his innocence. The "Song of Myself" reads as a inventory of the earth's "plenty," or as a benevolent God might observe his people. Whitman is a celebrant of all things earthy and American. I believe he is correct when he says, "These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me," (354) but Whitman is certainly the first to collect all of these thoughts and record them so together and beautifully. He seems like an Eastern philosopher at times when he speaks of the cycles of earth.

He is high on life; a little too much at times, perhaps. In victory and defeat he finds joy. His candidness about his acceptance of women and men, races and creeds, seems ahead of its time.

The descriptions of the motion of life in sections 15, 31, and 33 (and many others) paints a picture of constant energy across the land and surrounding sea. He moves from line to line as he sweeps across the land, profiling the deck-hand, the paving man, the conductor, the drover, and these words are rich in images for us to imagine the era he lived in.

To read this poem in our age of instant electronic connectivity, we cannot quite carry the tune as well. So many of these occupations have faded away, we have left the fields for office space.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By aynnej on February 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
I LOVE the poetry, but this edition has typographical errors, some of them pretty important. An example: In the middle of section 6, a line reads "And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of grass," which should read "beautiful uncut hair of graves." I like that Dover makes literature available at a reasonable price, but in this case I think one can find a better edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gregg Schroeder on July 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Song of Myself is an enjoyable, circuitous trek through the United States of the mid-19th century - and the very human feelings and observations are still true and now.
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By Linda on October 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was delighted to find a "carryable" copy of my favorite poem in one book. I plan to commit the work to memory, so having a light, single poem copy makes it easy to take everywhere I go . The cover alone was worth the price!
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By caxsavage on March 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Walt Whitman was such a beautiful poet! This book shows his readers how much he was influenced by the world around him. It's a truly remarkable read and I'm glad that Dover is making it accessible to everyone at such a great price!
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