The Neglected Walt Whitman: Vital Texts


"Here is Walt Whitman entire, in all his contrarieties, the unsafe Whitman, Whitman the subversive, America's greatest poet. These 66 texts include 49 poems, 11 passages from poems, four prose texts, and one image-text. Some of the poems, such as "Respondez", are quite simply Whitman at his best: poems that represent the height of his passion and artistry; others, including the "Calamus" cluster, are crucial for illuminating the great sexual mystery of Whitman - for throwing light on the relationship between the "real" Whitman and the immortal persona he created in Leaves of Grass - "Walt Whitman, a kosmos". Yet most other currently available readers editions of Whitman omit most of these texts, all other readers editions omit some of them, and the "authoritative" Library of America Complete Poetry and Collected Prose omits all of them. What is it the other editions are so afraid of? Together, these writings refute the standard assumptions about what kind of poet Whitman was, proposing a subtler and more complex portrait. The Whitman who emerges here is a more dangerous man than we knew before, not only a praisemaker but also an outlaw." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1993