Complete Poetry and Collected Prose

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Literary Classics of the United States, 1982 - Poetry - 1380 pages
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This is the most comprehensive volume of Walt Whitman (1819-1892) ever published. It includes all of his poetry and what he considered his complete prose. This is also the only collection that includes, in exactly the form in which it appeared in 1855, the first edition of Leaves of Grass. This was the book, a commercial failure, that prompted Emerson's famous message to Whitman: "I greet you at the beginning of a great career". These twelve poems, including what were later to be entitled "Song of Myself" and "I Sing the Body Electric", and a preface announcing the author's poetic theories, were the first stage of a massive, lifelong work. Six editions and some thirty-seven years later Leaves of Grass had become one of the central volumes in the history of world poetry.

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This book most certainly does NOT include all of W's poems.
Missing are 49 POEMS, 11 passages from poems, one image that is integral to Leaves, and a very important prose work. For the missing
poems check out the excellent Norton Critical edition of Leaves.
Particularly horrifying is that it omits the posthumous annex. "Old Age Echoes", which Whitman instructed his his literary executor to include in all future collected editions, so we miss W's profoundly movingl deathbed poem "Of Many a Smutch'd Deed Reminiscent" Also missing is "Respondez", a poem considered by Auden, Ellman, Zukofsy, WC Williams to be of primary importance for understanding Whitman's aims and accomplishment.
For details see intro to my book, "The Neglected Walt Whitman"...or my article in Modern Language Studies XXVI 2&3...or my poem at this url.
Sam Abrams

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About the author (1982)

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was born on Long Island and educated in Brooklyn, New York. He served as a printer's devil, journeyman compositor, itinerant schoolteacher, editor, and unofficial nurse to Northern and Southern soldiers.

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