Leaves of Grass: The Original 1855 Edition (Dover Thrift Editions)
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This edition presents the original twelve poems from Whitman's premier 1855 publication of Leaves of Grass. Included are some of the greatest poems of modern times: "Song of Myself," "I Sing the Body Electric," and "There Was a Child Went Forth," works that continue to upset conventional notions of beauty and originality even today.
you and I flow onward, But in due time you and I shall take less interest in them. Your farm, profits, crops—to think how engross’d you are, To think there will still be farms, profits, crops, yet for you of what avail? -6- What will be will be well, for what is is well, To take interest is well, and not to take interest shall be well. The domestic joys, the daily housework or business, the building of houses are not phantasms, they have weight, form, location, Farms,
Whitman’s own words have such powerful and continuous relevance that he seems to address us face to face, rather than talk at our backs. Deliberately leaving off the end punctuation at the close of the 1855 edition of “Song of Myself ” (p. 91), he remains ever a step ahead: Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one place search another, I stop some where waiting for you Karen Karbiener received her Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in 2001
him. The blue breadth over the inland sea of Virginia and Maryland and the sea off Massachusetts and Maine and over Manhattan bay and over Champlain and Erie and over Ontario and Huron and Michigan and Superior, and over the Texan and Mexican and Floridian and Cuban seas and over the seas off California and Oregon, is not tallied by the blue breadth of the waters below more than the breadth of above and below is tallied by him. When the long Atlantic coast stretches longer and the Pacific coast
right, in politics or what-not, shall be eligible to that one man or woman, on the same terms as any. APOSTROPH O mater! O fils! O brood continental! O flowers of the prairies! O space boundless! O hum of mighty products! O you teeming cities! O so invincible, turbulent, proud! O race of the future! O women! O fathers! O you men of passion and the storm! O native power only! O beauty! O yourself! O God! O divine average! O you bearded roughs! O bards! O all those slumberers! O
lawyers and perfect judges .... it is in their souls, It is well assorted .... they have not studied for nothing .... the great includes the less, They rule on the highest grounds .... they oversee all eras and states and administrations, The perfect judge fears nothing .... he could go front to front before God, Before the perfect judge all shall stand back .... life and death shall stand back .... heaven and hell shall stand back. Great is goodness; I do not know what it is