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Leaves of Grass
 
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Walt Whitman
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Leaves of Grass

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  90,439 ratings  ·  2,660 reviews
The themes of equality for all people, fertility, sacredness of self, beauty in death, love of comrades and the immortality of the soul prevail in this American masterpiece.
Audio CD, 3 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Audio Book Contractors, Inc. (first published July 1st 1855)
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Maggie I would say that this book of poetry would be too advanced for a person learning English. You asked this question 10 months ago so perhaps you've adva…moreI would say that this book of poetry would be too advanced for a person learning English. You asked this question 10 months ago so perhaps you've advanced in your English studies.

However, if you want to learn a wide range of new vocabulary, you could definitely give this book a good try. Just make sure to have a dictionary close by! Good luck! (less)
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Selby
Sep 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Whitman used to right fake reviews under false names for Leaves of Grass and send them to publishers, newspapers, and periodicals. I love that about him. So over the top. He had love for everything. Especially himself. As for the quality of the work the words speak for themselves:
"This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not co
...more
MischaS_
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english, poetry
Don't pay attention to me, I'm currently high on poetry.

description

description
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Lizzy
In Leaves of Grass Walt Whitman sings nature and his symbiosis with America, he sings the universe and his awareness of it all, but above all he sings the people and their quest for individuality and immortality. ‘The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it.’ And here he includes himself with all his mysticism and spiritual illuminations. In that, it is a celebration of humanity, his country and everything in it. Some parts of his poems were so bea ...more
Lauren Schumacher
Aug 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When Leaves of Grass was first published, critics applauded Whitman "only that he did not burn" the "mass of stupid filth" immediately upon completion. They primarily objected to its sensual and occasionally (rather overtly) homoerotic content. Nowadays, of course, it seems entirely too mild to raise an objection on those grounds, but man, oh man, I understand the impulse to want to turn this book into kindling.


It's less like THIS...


...and more like THIS.

This weighty poetic tome has all
...more
Miranda Reads
description

We can look at this one of two ways, either I'm a bit late to do a Christmas Book Haul video or I'm hella early for next year.

(Click the link to see what other books arrived via the polar express).
...more
Michael
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whitman sings the song of America like no other poet I know--the outsized joy and pain, the affinity for common folk and the love of nature and the sheer overwhelming feeling of every sight and sound and industrious noise around him. "I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear," he wrote. Because of this some are tempted to see Whitman as a poet of pure exuberance--like a proto-hippie or, worse, like a garrulous Hallmark card. But Whitman doesn't shy away from pain at all--he embraces it l ...more
Dan
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alright, my rating here is very misleading. I haven't read Leaves Of Grass. I don't even intend to read Leaves Of Grass. Not all the way through any way. It seems sort of weird to just read a big fat collection of poetry all the way through. The five star rating is for one poem, "Song of the Open Road".

I've never really appreciated poetry. I've liked song lyrics and that's poetry, but it seemed like I needed a tune to go with it. I've liked scripture which can be pretty poetic, but it seemed I n
...more
Roy Lotz
It is becoming increasingly trendy to chalk up success to practice and hard work. We have the famous 10,000 hours from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, and a similar theme from Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein, just to name two examples. But it seems to me that some people were just born to do what they did, that no amount of practice could ever have produced something so fresh, original, new, and revolutionary.

Take Montaigne. He invented a new genre (the essay), pioneered a free and easy p
...more
Helga
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, poetry
I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul,
The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me,
The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate into new tongue.
I am the poet of the woman the same as the man,
And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man,
And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men.


This is the first edition of Leaves of Grass published in 1855, which consists of 12 poems. In his poems Whitman exalts nature and h
...more
Lisa
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Too long ago to remember. All I recall was the flow. I've not read anything from this author since I was about 16. Nearly 40 years ago. I loved it. Sometimes things I loved then aren't what I love now. So, I don't re-read! I was softer then. Now, I might find my eyes rolling right out of my eye sockets! I love Robert Service. That's about as deep as I go now. Still, he has a few that I've read multiple times, and every time I think of them, and start uttering the words, I have nightmares!
Ben Wilson
Nov 27, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: democrats, republicans, flag-shitters
Recommended to Ben by: President Clinton gave this as a present to Monica Lewinsky
Shelves: neverfinished
Leaves of Grass is like reading every single instant message that I and a friend of mine ever wrote to one another over the course of the last ten years. Likely way too long, too self-serving and would have shocked the general public if they cared to read it when it was written. But nestled in there are some real, true brilliant moments.

This is after all Whitman's life work, laid bare and un-edited for the most part. What else are we to expect? He is literally singing a song of himself, which he
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anna (½ of readsrainbow)
SUCK MY DICK WALT
Susan Budd
To read American poetry
is to breathe America.
With Whitman I inhale
the kosmos. I expand.
With Dickinson I exhale,
become nobody. I contract.
Visionaries both. They are
the Yang and Yin of
American poetry.
Collin
Apr 12, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
Holy shit this is self-important and tedious.

--update: This has sat untouched on my desk all year. I can think of a hundred books I'd rather start than finish this, so I doubt I'll pick it back up unless I run out of books to read, I'm too poor to buy any more books, all my friends turn on me and refuse to loan me anything else, and all the nearby libraries are set on fire simultaneously.
Ruxandra (4fără15)
self-love ✨ diversity 🌈 equality ✊ ; oh, how I love Whitman!! his preface to the first edition was particularly enlightening, but let me just say Song of Myself has got to be one of the best poems I’ve ever come across. I can’t give this book 5 stars because there were times when I found Whitman to be a bit tiring and ~over the top~, but consider this a 4,5.

allow me to bless you with some of my favourite lines:

The female contains all qualities and tempers them... she is in her place... she moves
...more
Jeanette (Again)
Did you know that the letters in "Leaves of Grass" can be rearranged to spell "Asses of Gravel"?
If you find yourself anagramming the letters in the title rather than reading the poetry, it's a good sign you're not into the book. But I really wanted some of whatever Whitman was smoking that made him so ecstatically, ebulliently enthusiastic about every molecule on the planet. Including his own b.o.

"The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer."

Huh??? Was this guy sniffing glue along wi
...more
Samadrita
There's only so much rhetoric on American imperialism I can ingest and assimilate at a stretch. Later, Mr Whitman.

(paused at 47%)
Ben Winch
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child?.... I do not know what it is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose?

I'm no expert on Walt Whitman, and given that this poem ('Song of Myself') has been celeb
...more
Bryan  Jones
May 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Song of Myself" is a work of pure genius comparable to Shakespeare's greatest. I love these last three stanzas especially. When my wife and I were dating long distance and when I was deployed, I would end alot of my letters with "I stop somewhere waiting for you."

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love.
If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,

But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blo
...more
Chris_P
I read it in my living room. Read it by the sea. Read it in the afternoon, at sunset and at night. I read it from mid-winter through mid-spring. Read it while sad, read it while content, read it while not giving a fuck. I read it and understood it, read it and misinterpreted it.
I read it.
Do I seem weird?
Do I care?
Anima
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles”

‘I will not make poems with reference to parts,
But I will make poems, songs, thoughts, with reference to ensemble,
And I will not sing with reference to a day, but with reference to all days,
And I will not make a poem nor the least part of a poem but has reference to the soul,
Because having look’d at the objects of the universe,
I find there is no one nor any particle of one but
...more
Zachary F.
I can't believe it, but I'm actually DNF-ing Walt Whitman.

I'm not a literary coward, alright? I read old books and long books and poetry books (and old long books of poetry) all the time. I've read Moby-Dick and Middlemarch and Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamazov and The Divine Comedy and Paradise Lost and half of Shakespeare's corpus, and I enjoyed 'em too! Yet here I find myself, done in by a not-even-that-long collection of not-even-that-old poems. What the hell.

Well,
...more
Andrew
Jul 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Literary rapture. I don't know how else I could describe my first experience reading Leaves of Grass. It was pure literary rapture.

I highly recommend Leaves of Grass to everyone - especially those who still believe, or want to believe, in the basic goodness of the American Experiment.

Pick up the slim first edition (Whitman revised and expanded Leaves of Grass throughout his life. The final product, which is what is most often seen on bookshelves, is a bloated, redundant beast.

Read the whole t
...more
Marc
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I celebrate myself, and sing myself"
I read a translation in Dutch of the original edition of 1855, with only 12 poems, and the first one occupies half of the book. This minimal approach (later versions were much, much more elaborate) has the effect of a trumpet call, it's pure vitalism, colored by a strong physical sensuality. It expresses deep faith in life and death, and a sense of belonging to all (a kind of transcendentalism), the organic and the anorganic, the whole universe. At the same t
...more
Manny
To quote Robert Louis Stevenson:
…like a large shaggy dog just unchained scouring the beaches of the world and baying at the moon.
But let's look at the positive side. Monica Lewinsky gave a copy to Bill Clinton as a present.
Philip Cartwright
First the pros:

Whitman's free verse is years ahead of its time. I kept having to remind myself that he published this work in 1855. Wordsworth had only been dead for five years, Tennyson and Browning were at the height of their powers and Longfellow was still churning them out. Whitman was an important moderniser.

His verse has tremendous energy. It crackles off the page and I was often swept giddily along by the blizzard of words. Plus, there are some truly striking images to be found. At its be
...more
Liz Janet
Unlike many Americans, I was not introduced to Walt Whitman during my school years through English/Literature/Composition classes, but through a magnificent and beautiful film called Dead Poets Society. I fell in love with his poetry then, of course, not all of his poetry is shown, for the film speaks more of literature and its importance to human consciousnesses, rather than the different dead poets, but it did introduce me to "O Captain! My Captain!"(which is not in this collection, and I am ...more
Jenny Beth
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pour-y-vivre
Few people know that I curl up with Song of Myself whenever i am depressed. i gave a nice boy from England my beautiful edition once as a birthday gift, so now i curl up with this dreadful Norton Anthology edition where the pages are thinner than onion skins. once i get to the end and reread some of my favorites bits i always find i am ready to rejoin the family of mankind again as tolerable, if not pleasurable, company. I think, as many do, that the affirmation and daring and greed and urgency ...more
Madeline
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Yes, I did read this because John Green told me to in Paper Towns. If I didn't have cooler people advising me what to read/watch/listen to, I'd never do anything at all.

In any case, I was pleasantly surprised at how I wanted to continue reading once I finished Song of Myself, considering that it's the only Whitman poem I was familiar with (since it's the one that's quoted in both Paper Towns and The Dead Poets Society. I liked most of the poems, although Whitman is a fan of listing things. Over
...more
Emily
Aug 26, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, classics
Holy crap this is boring and pretentious. Admittedly, I don't like poetry, but I'm trying to make my way through some books that are considered classics. This is a DNF for me. IMO, poetry needs to rhyme. I'll stick with Dr. Seuess from now on.
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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

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