Celebrating Walt Whitman and 'Leaves of Grass'

The first lines of what later came to be called "I Celebrate Myself" i i

hide captionThe first lines of 'Leaves of Grass.'

Walt Whitman Archive
The first lines of what later came to be called "I Celebrate Myself"

The first lines of 'Leaves of Grass.'

Walt Whitman Archive
Walt Whitman in 1854, wearing a flat-topped hat, arms akimbo.

hide captionWalt Whitman in July, 1854, in a steel engraving by Samuel Hollyer of a daguerreotype by Gabriel Harrison.

Walt Whitman Archive
The first lines of what later came to be called "I Celebrate Myself" i i

hide captionThe first lines of what would later come to be called 'The Body Electric.'

Walt Whitman Archive
The first lines of what later came to be called "I Celebrate Myself"

The first lines of what would later come to be called 'The Body Electric.'

Walt Whitman Archive

On July 4, 1855, a book of poetry by an unknown by the name of Walt Whitman came out to mixed reviews and widespread disinterest. Eventually, it changed the way poets thought... and sang... of themselves. Lynn Neary leads a discussion on Leaves of Grass.

Guests:

Ed Folsom, professor of English at the University of Iowa; editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review; co-director of the online Walt Whitman Archive, the most comprehensive Web-based collection of Whitman's writings and biographical information; author of Rescripting Walt Whitman.

Ed Centeno, collector of Walt Whitman memorabilia.

Michael Cunningham, author of several books, including The Hours. His most recent book is Specimen Days, loosely based on the poems of Walt Whitman.

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