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Leaves of Grass, 1860: The 150th Anniversary Facsimile Edition (Iowa Whitman Series) Paperback – September 1, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jason Stacy is an associate professor of US history at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He is the author of Walt Whitman's Multitudes: Labor Reform and Persona in Whitman's Journalism and the First "Leaves of Grass," 1840-1855.
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Product Details

  • Series: Iowa Whitman Series
  • Paperback: 550 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Iowa Press; 1st Edition edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587298252
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587298257
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Between 1855 and 1860 Walt Whitman channeled his greatest work. How this mediocre journalist and sometime writer of short-stories and verse suddenly erupted with so many astonishingly original poems is one of those delicious mysteries. Some suppose he underwent a spiritual epiphany on a par with that of Rilke or Eckhart Tolle; others say that with the exception of his moving ode to Lincoln, "When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd" (1865), Whitman's greatest poems were already written and contained in this, his third edition of "Leaves." Nevertheless, he went on writing for another three decades, inserting lesser pieces and rearranging the order of his earlier poems, depriving them of their original context and diluting their overall effect.

In short, if you're looking to be zapped full-force by Whitman's big, friendly voice and inclusive, evolutionary vision, the 1860 edition is Whitman at the absolute peak of his powers. For those looking for an edition of "Leaves" that contains the very best of the 1860 edition plus the juiciest poems from his later years, I strongly recommend "Walt Whitman: Selected Poems 1855 - 1892," edited by Gary Schmidgall.
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Format: Paperback
In 1860, when the United States was on the brink of civil war, Walt Whitman produced a book of poems that he hoped would provide a roadmap for preserving the Union. It was "Leaves of Grass," the third edition.

Reading Whitman is always an exhilarating experience but when reading from this facsimile edition put out by the University of Iowa Press, there's a touch of something else - a sense of history. The introduction by antebellum historian and Whitman scholar Jason Stacy does an excellent job of situating the collection within its historical framework, showing clearly the issues that Whitman was trying to address and how he proposed to do so.

One of Whitman's central ideas for preserving the Union was fervent brotherhood as portrayed in "Calamus," a poem regarding love between men but which gains a deeper political meaning in the 1860 edition:

"States!
Were you looking to be held together by the lawyers?
By an agreement on a paper? Or by arms? . . .

There shall from me be a new friendship - It shall
be called after my name,
It shall circulate through the States, indifferent of
place . . .
Affection shall solve every one of the problems of
freedom,
Those who love each other shall be invincible,
They shall finally make America completely
victorious, in my name.
One from Massachusettes shall be comrade to a Missourian,
One from Main or Vermont, and a Carolinian and
an Orgonese, shall be friends triune, more precious
to each other than all the riches of the earth.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Referred to as "The New Bible" I prescribe to all who are
interested in the evolution of the written word, the human Spirit
and Walt Whitman to pore over this book, and, to see it, and read it
as it was created by the man himself - then decide if you too will become
a disciple.
I also recommendWalt Whitman and the Civil War: America's Poet during the Lost Years of 1860-1862
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've always heard references to his poetry so I decided to check it out.What a dude. No wonder people are nuts about this guy.
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