[Review] Whitman, Poetry and Prose by Walt Whitman

Publisher and Publication Date: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. 1982.
Genre: Poetry.
Pages: 1407.
Format: Hardcover. Library binding.
Source: Public library.
Audience: Readers of poetry.
Rating: Very good to excellent.

Link for the e-book @ Amazon. The price is .99 cents on this date.

Walt Whitman’s Goodreads author page.

Further links:

Britanica.

Poetry Foundation.

LitPriest.

Summary:

A complete book with Walt Whitman’s poems, prose, essays, and letters.

Walt Whitman was born in 1819. He died in 1892.

He was an American poet of 19th century America.

Whitman wrote the famous, Leaves of Grass. This is the poem that is most affiliated with his name. He continued to add to and edit the Leaves of Grass poems. When they were first written, they were untitled. Later, he added titles.

My Thoughts:

Before reading, Whitman, Poetry and Prose, I’d heard of him, and I’d heard of the poetry collection, Leaves of Grass. This is the first time to read in any of his poems. So, I jumped into this chunkster book of Whitman’s writings with no previous knowledge.

Do I love his writing style? Yes.

Do I love his poems? Yes, but not all of them.

Do I feel he is unique or an important poet? Absolutely.

While reading, I wondered if I’d read another poet who writes in such a huge arena of different subject matters. I don’t think so.

Most poets have a certain type of poem they write. Their own voice speaking through the poems about what they love, or who they love, or nature, or fears and uncertainties, or a rich fantasy world.

Whitman writes about everything. I love this.

I kept a list of different topics. The list below are examples:

  1. Soldiers.
  2. Tears.
  3. Ships.
  4. Beaches.
  5. People. People of various skin color and personalities and cultures; a community of people.
  6. A hand mirror.
  7. Memories of President Lincoln.
  8. Compost.
  9. Ireland.
  10. A prison.
  11. A Prostitute.
  12. India.
  13. Faces of various types.
  14. Friendship.

I love his writing style. He is independent. He speaks with transparency. He ponders things. There is a fluidness and freedom, intelligence; and his poems are inspiring.

A couple of favorites:

Song of Myself pages 188 to 247.

“Ashes of Soldiers.” Pages 598-600.

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