Leaves of Grass: The First Edition (1855): The First Edition (1855)
In response to Ralph Waldo Emerson's call for the United States to have its own unique poet, Walt Whitman rose to the challenge to create what would ultimately be his most profound work. Taking its title from the colloquial term "grass", meaning a work of minor value, Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" is anything but that. Over his lifetime Whitman would continue to expand and revise his most famous book up until his death in 1892. Here in this volume we reproduce the short collection of twelve poems of the very first edition, originally published in 1855.
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SONG OF MYSELF
A SONG FOR OCCUPATIONS
TO THINK OF TIME
I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC
SONG OF THE ANSWERER
The 72d AND 73d YEARS OF THESE STATES
A BOSTON BALLAD
THERE WAS A CHILD WENT FORTH
WHO LEARNS MY LESSON COMPLETE?
GREAT ARE THE MYTHS
arctic sea arms Askers babe beard beautiful become betimes blood body Boston town breast breath brother child cornets corpse crowd curious daguerreotype dark dead death decillions divine dreamed drunkard earth embouchure equally wonderful eternal eyes eyesight face faith fall feet forever give goes greatest poet ground guess hair hand head hear heaven heroes hostler immortal kisses kosmos laugh LEAVES OF GRASS less liberty light limbs lips live look lover marriage master middle age mockingbird mother murder nation neck never night onanist pass perceive perfect persimmon person pleasure poems prostitute prudence quintillions rest rich rise sail slave sleep song soul sound spirit stand stars steamboat stop stretches surely sweet swimmer tell things thought tongue touch turn voice wait walk whoever woman women words Yankee clipper young