The Complete Poems
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The Complete Poems

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  2,321 ratings  ·  46 reviews
In 1855 Walt Whitman published Leaves of Grass, the work that defined him as one of America's most influential voices and that he added to throughout his life. A collection of astonishing originality and intensity, it spoke of politics, sexual emancipation, and what it meant to be an American. From the joyful “Song of Myself” and “I Sing the Body Electric” to the elegiac “...more
Paperback, 896 pages
Published July 28th 1977 by Penguin Classics (first published January 30th 1976)
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Kjdick
"Out of the cradle endlessly rocking,
Out of the mockingbirds throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the Ninth-month midnight ......

Simple, visceral words phrased in long steady breaths -- a human meter. i could read this collection over and over. actually i do and so do my students and always there is one in the class who loves it as much as i do -- maybe more.

uncle walt -- omisexual super poet of the body, soul, and mind.
sckenda
Walt Whitman is my prophet of love and optimism. His words, his attitude, and his exemplary life have summoned me to deeper humanity. Did you know that Whitman spent all his free time and money upon the wounded and the dying soldiers in army hospitals during the American Civil War? “I am faithful, I do not give out.” He brought them candy and nuts and good cheer. He held their maimed limbs, played games with them, and wrote letters home for them.

He whispered comfort in the ears of the dying. Wh...more
Taka
An American Ubermensch--

Nietzsche would have loved Whitman's expansive, all-encompassing poetry that celebrates the human body, soul, and the world; Whitman's poems all say "yes" to life, an ideal Nietzsche found to be the philosophy of the future in contrast to the "nay-saying" philosophies and religions (most prominently, Christianity).

Whitman sings of democratic America, of the common people, of sexuality, and of unconditional love of everything about life. He finds voice, poetry, specificall...more
Zanna
Whitman starts off in a grandiose and expansive style and never shifts from it, staying in the highest possible register at all times. While his poems are individually titled they form a single mass of life-affirmation and Whitman's own style of patriotism and religious devotion.

Most interesting to me is Whitman's highly ambiguous attitude to gender and sexuality. He calls for equality, and reveals an odd mixture of traditional and progressive views. His motifs sometimes recall Spartan ideals. H...more
Libby
I can never sing Whitmans praises enough, the man was a genius before his time - he knew, profoundly, that we are all one and are all connected and that all is just experience...

"Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul.

Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen,
Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn."

Mystic, poetic soul, lover of everything, God.
Nia Romero
La poesía de Walt Witman tiene el poder de mirar dentro de nosotros mismos y encontrar belleza por donde quiera que uno mire. Su escritura suelta, honesta, imprecisa, y orgánica, captura el alma de las letras. Éste es uno de mis libros favoritos, es una edición muy fácil de cargar, liviana, manipulable y lo mejor de todo es que está en su idioma original.
Luke
I have read some Whitman and I liked it. I have by no means read enough to give it any honest judgment, but I would like to read more, which I can only say for a few of the poets I've read, which likely reflects on my poor appreciation for poetry as a medium but my enjoyment of topics that resonate with my interests. what can I say, I'm selfish.
Shannan
I got sidetracked with this while I was trying to finish Mistborn 3. Whitman has been on the brain lately so I pulled out my book and have been reading it off and on for a month. I can't say I have read every page, but I have read most of it over the course of years. Oh me! Oh life!
Thomas Moore
It's Whitman, what more can I say? He is all things that American poetry should be and a voice that is as present now as it has been for the many years his work has been around.
Mii
This book is a great read!
Sally Michelle
Walt Whitman's greatest strength, as they appeared to me, was his ability to exemplify the great romantic ideology of America during the Nineteenth Century.

That being said, when it came to Walt's personal poems they, he said, were about himself, I really have this aching feeling that he is writing about a character of himself more than his honest self. I might be way off, but I simply have that hunch.

Ultimately, I simply prefer contemporary poetry over the longer-lined poems of Mr. Whitman.
Mugren Ohaly
There's nothing to like about Whitman's poetry.
Zane
Whitman is one of my favorite poets. Such virtuosity and grace, yet the subjects are rugged, vague, and natural. He is able to melt his very thoughts and splatter them onto the page, his emotions dripping from his pen. I can see it in my head, and it makes perfect sense. The free verse is just that- liberating from conventionality.
Michal
While I enjoyed many of Whitman's poems, I most enjoyed reading Whitman's musings at age 71 on his motivations for writing Leaves of Grass. Understanding where he was coming from made me appreciate his work all the more, even poems that didn't otherwise speak to me - and I found his motivations to be fascinating.
Richard
About as complete a compilation as one could ask for. Very good. No, I haven't read the whole thing - its quite long, and I'm against reading poetry as text. But its easy access on my shelf and I'll be able to grab it at any time for some inspiration - - whenever I need a shot of "pride" in my Western/American heritage.
Lynda
What can you say about Walt Whitman. He was a genius. His writing is beautiful and human. He undertands mankind. Not all of his poems are masterpieces; that is the down side of buying complete works, but with some writers you don't want to miss a word. He is one of those.
Alex
Walt was pretty much the dude of his time. Sure, he had some "issues" but he was mostly harmless. He also, with Dickinson, established a completely new, American poetry. The original (1855) Leaves of Grass is still an absolute masterpiece.
Crystal
I love Whitman's view and perspective on people. He's a true lover of humanity and he writes so unreservedly and beautifully about them. He's a great example of someone who really, truly tries and succeeds in understanding people.
Eliza
I have found a new love for walt whitman ever since I read "I Sit and Look Out" in Honors English last year.

I always thought that Whitman was just a poet who wrote about nature. But I was completely wrong.
Cameron
Because in here are some poems that never make it into anthologies or compilations. And some bad poems that show he was a writer. And some amazing poems. He had some poems. Some hurley burley life forces of poems.
Thetigergirl
I love Walt Whitman and I love his death bed edition of Leaves of Grass best, which is why I bought this book. However, as portability goes, this is not exactly the edition I'd take to the beach with me.
Ayan Scratuglia
Give me the splendid silent sun
with all his beams full-dazzling,
Give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard,
Give me a field where the unmow'd grass grows,
Give me...
Craig
Whitman's style of poetry was not to my liking. I found them to be repetitive. His habit of long running lists of things in his poems detracted from the flow in my opinion.
Christylee1010
never been a fan of whitman, or poetry in general. read this for an american lit class at temple. hoping to read again in order to gain some sort of appreciation for the work.
Donovan Foote
This is one of those books that you read over a number of years, it is a collection of all his work...not something to fly through.

Currently reading:
Suraya Shaffer
Love this book... Walt Whitman is the greatest American to live; no one has or will love this country and her people more than he did.
Emily
I read most of Whitman for a thesis paper sophomore year in high school. I fell in love with his hopefulness and words.
John Michael
I really like the way he puts a voice to feelings I'm sure every man, gay, straight, American or otherwise, has had.
Clif Smith
A revolutionary in American Literature. No one captures the real world in verse quite like WW.
Soodaroo
Feb 24, 2007 Soodaroo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To All Humans
The forefather of poems in new shapes is aware of the meaning of Humanity, lets join him . . .
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Walter Whitman was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.

Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and a volunteer nurse during...more
More about Walt Whitman...
Leaves of Grass Song of Myself Poetry and Prose (Library of America) Selected Poems Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition

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“Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard."

[Give me the splendid silent sun]”
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“And I say to mankind, be not curious about god, For I who am curious about each am not curious about God, (No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about God & about death.) I hear & behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least, Nor do I understand there can be more wonderful than myself. Why should I wish to see God better than this day? I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, & each moment then, in the faces of men & women I see God, & in my own face in the glass, I find letters from God dropt in the street, & every one is signed by God's name, & I leave them where they are, for I know that wheresoever I go, others will punctually come for ever & ever.” 0 likes
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