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The Complete Poems (Penguin Classics) Paperback – July 28, 1977

4.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was born on Long Island and educated in Brooklyn, New York. He served as a printer's devil, journeyman compositor, itinerant schoolteacher, editor, and unofficial nurse to Northern and Southern soldiers.

Francis Murphy is a professor emeritus of English at Smith College. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Penguin Classics edition (July 28, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140422226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140422221
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This collection of Whitman's poetry has the ulitimate selection for any reader, whether one is experienced in the composition and analyzation of Whitman or simply reading for pleasure. The book contains every known work by the author, as well as numerous editions of poems such as "Song of Myself" which was revised and reprinted by the author several times. If one is a fan of Walt Whitman, this is an excellent source of all his poetry compact into one book. If a person is just begining to experience the poet, everyting someone would want to read is at his or her fingertips.
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Format: Paperback
Walt Whitman is, indisputably, America's poet. He is vast, large, contradictory (Do I contradict myself?/Very well then I contradict myself/(I am large, I contain multitudes)), beautiful and loose and American to the core!

His greatest poem is, in my opinion, "Song of Myself." This is far from a controversial opinion, and for good reason; the eighty-odd page long poem is an astounding epic--albeit, an unusual one, but a monumental achievement of literature. It is Whitman as Everyman, Whitman as you, as me, as all other mortals from China to Peru. I quote his beautiful closing stanzas:

"I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I
Love,
If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop some where waiting for you"

Such beauty in verse, especially free verse, is scarcely found, and, when found, must be cherished. There is a reason almost all poets after him--and not just poets in the English language, either (Borges, for example, aspired to be the "Whitman of Argentina")--have been influenced by him more so than any other poet besides perhaps Shakespeare and Milton.

Nor is "Song of Myself" his only great poem, though it surely be his greatest. His elegy for Abraham Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" is monumental (the great critic Harold Bloom declares it Whitman's finest poem, and thus the greatest of all American poems--I dissent, but uphold its marvel nonetheless), as is almost all of his wonderful corpus of poetry. Whitman is remarkable; he is inescapable; he is beautiful. Read him, and thou shalt be infinitely rewarded.
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Format: Paperback
Whitman is a special poet. As you read through his poems you get the feeling that you are not reading poetry but rather going through Whitman's mind. His compulsive style both simple and meticulous, his whirling rhythym, and his proud usage of the first person, all give you a vivid glimpse of the world through his eyes and heart; the eyes of his time and the poetic heart of his thoughts. Yet even though Whitman talks to you in social vocab. you know that you are listening to a poet because ast is ineveitable to sense his power to overwhelm. Lorca described Whitman as "viejo" and "hermoso", and these descriptions are true of Whitman the poet as Whitman the man. After reading this book you'll be short of words to describe it as I appear to be. It has too much inside it. But it is beautiful because the words inside it come from a man who knew how to appreciate and merge with the antiquity and great elderiness of the world.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book covers every one of the many, many revisions of Leaves of Grass. Great for enjoymen as well as research.
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Walt Whitman was one of the greats... I was a fan of his work ever since I saw the late 80s movie, Dead Poets Society. I look forward to reading the rest of Mr. Whitman's work. This is a great companion piece for anyone interested in poetry or creative writing.
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Format: Paperback
I was turned on to "Uncle Walt," as my high school teacher described him, while taking American Literature, and am thankful for it. While Whitman has a unique style of writing, I am drawn to it and enjoy this book emensely. I definetely recommend this book to any Walt Whitman fan, and to those that appreciate American poetry.
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Format: Paperback
*****

Although I tend to favor English Verse, this American poet grabs me. His verse is precise, winding, and a delight to read. And Penguin's paperback of his complete poems is one of my favorite editions of his poetry.

I highly recommend this thorough and panoramic collection. If you love poetry, you'll love this collection.

*****
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
similar feelings as to Leaves but a lot more digestable . once again patience is a needed quality by the reader . I found a lot of it just self centred tosh but do admit that he sometimes made me gasp with his amazing beauty and this in itself made it worthwhile . it is a 'work ' that needs resilience and at times great understanding . I can realise the scandal at the time of publication to certain "passages" . it is only that Donna Tartt extolled a couple of his lines that urged me to read him . I just ,from the little I knew of him thought that he was an arguable journalist .
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