OVERRIDE

Walt Whitman

Selected Poems 1855-1892

Walt Whitman; Edited by Gary Schmidgall

Stonewall Inn Editions

A century after his death, Whitman is still celebrated as America's greatest poet. In this startling new edition of his work, Whitman biographer Gary Schmidgall presents over two hundred poems in their original pristine form, in the chronological order in which they were written, with Whitman's original line breaks and punctuation. Included in this volume are facsimilies of Whitman's original manuscripts, contemporary-- and generally blistering-- reviews of Whitman's poetry (not surprisingly Henry James hated it), and early pre-Leaves of Grass poems that return us to the physical Whitman, rejoicing-- sometimes graphically-- in homoerotic love.

Unlike the many other available editions, all drawn from the final authorized or "deathbed" Leaves of Grass, this collection focuses on the exuberant poems Whitman wrote during the creative and sexual prime of his life, roughly between 1853 and 1860. These poems are faithfully presented as Whitman first gave them to the world-- fearless, explicit, and uncompromised-- before he transformed himself into America's respectable, mainstream Good Gray Poet through thirty years of revision, self-censorship, and suppression.

Whitman admitted that his later poetry lacked the "ecstasy of statement" of his early verse. Revealing that ecstasy for the first time, this edition makes possible a major reappraisal of our nation's first great poet.
A century after his death, Whitman is still celebrated as America's greatest poet. In this startling new edition of his work, Whitman biographer Gary Schmidgall presents over two hundred poems in their original pristine form, in the chronological order in which they were written, with Whitman's original line breaks and punctuation. Included in this volume are facsimilies of Whitman's original manuscripts, contemporary-- and generally blistering-- reviews of Whitman's poetry (not surprisingly Henry James hated it), and early pre-Leaves of Grass poems that return us to the physical Whitman, rejoicing-- sometimes graphically-- in homoerotic love.

Unlike the many other available editions, all drawn from the final authorized or "deathbed" Leaves of Grass, this collection focuses on the exuberant poems Whitman wrote during the creative and sexual prime of his life, roughly between 1853 and 1860. These poems are faithfully presented as Whitman first gave them to the world-- fearless, explicit, and uncompromised-- before he transformed himself into America's respectable, mainstream Good Gray Poet through thirty years of revision, self-censorship, and suppression.

Whitman admitted that his later poetry lacked the "ecstasy of statement" of his early verse. Revealing that ecstasy for the first time, this edition makes possible a major reappraisal of our nation's first great poet.

REVIEWS

Praise for Walt Whitman

"Finally, an edition of Whitman that doesn't overwhelm with too much material or starve with too little. Perfect for the classroom...presenting the best poems in their original form, when they were still closest to Whitman's inspiration."-- Ed Folsom, Whitman scholar and editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly

"It's as if the silk cloth has dropped from the monument-- here at last in all its rugged, gleaming grandeur. Gary Schmidgall's thrilling new edition of Whitman restores the poet's true voice-- at once radical and intimate, tender and triumphant. This book vividly reminds us that Whitman's poems are the soul's-cry and heart's-blood of the American imagination."-- J. D. McClatchy, critic and poet

"A valuable new collection...present[ing] all the poems in their first published form."-- The New York Times Book Review
"Finally, an edition of Whitman that doesn't overwhelm with too much material or starve with too little. Perfect for the classroom...presenting the best poems in their original form, when they were still closest to Whitman's inspiration."-- Ed Folsom, Whitman scholar and editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly

"It's as if the silk cloth has dropped from the monument-- here at last in all its rugged, gleaming grandeur. Gary Schmidgall's thrilling new edition of Whitman restores the poet's true voice-- at once radical and intimate, tender and triumphant. This book vividly reminds us that Whitman's poems are the soul's-cry and heart's-blood of the American imagination."-- J. D. McClatchy, critic and poet

"A valuable new collection...present[ing] all the poems in their first published form."-- The New York Times Book Review

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Walt Whitman; Edited by Gary Schmidgall

  • Gary Schmidgall is the author of several studies of Shakespeare and biographies of Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman. He has been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Mellon and Guggenheim Foundations.
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Walt Whitman

Selected Poems 1855-1892

Walt Whitman; Edited by Gary Schmidgall

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Stonewall Inn Editions

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