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Leaves of Grass
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Leaves of Grass Paperback - 1961

by Walt Whitman; Malcolm Cowley (Editor); Introduction by Malcolm Cowley

About this book

Leaves of Grass (1855) is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman. Among the poems in the collection are "Song of Myself," "I Sing the Body Electric," "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," and in later editions, Whitman's elegy to the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd. " Whitman spent his entire life writing Leaves of Grass, revising it in several editions until his death. The first edition published in 1855 contained 12 poems on 95 pages. The final edition published contained almost 400 poems. 

Summary

This is the original and complete 1855 edition of one of the greatest masterpieces of American literature, including Whitman's own introduction to the work.

From the publisher

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.


Malcolm Cowley (1898–1989) a leadiing literary figure of his time, wrote numerous books of literary criticism, essays, and poetry.

First Edition Identification

On May 15, 1855, Whitman registered the title Leaves of Grass with the clerk of the United States District Court, Southern District of New Jersey, and received its copyright. The first edition was published on July 4, 1855, in Brooklyn, at the printing shop of two Scottish immigrants, James and Andrew Rome, whom Whitman had known since the 1840s. Whitman paid for and did much of the typesetting for the first edition himself. The book did not include the author's name, and instead offered an engraving by Samuel Hollyer depicting Whitman in work clothes and a jaunty hat, arms at his side. Early advertisements for the first edition appealed to "lovers of literary curiosities" as an oddity. Sales on the book were few, but Whitman was not discouraged.

The first edition was very small, collecting only twelve unnamed poems in 95 pages. Whitman once said he intended the book to be small enough to be carried in a pocket. "That would tend to induce people to take me along with them and read me in the open air: I am nearly always successful with the reader in the open air", he explained.  About 800 were printed, though only 200 were bound in its trademark green cloth cover.  The only American library known to have purchased a copy of the first edition was in Philadelphia The poems of the first edition, which were given titles in later issues, were "Song of Myself", "A Song for Occupations", "To Think of Time", "The Sleepers", "I Sing the Body Electric", "Faces", "Song of the Answerer", "Europe: The 72d and 73d Years of These States", "A Boston Ballad", "There Was a Child Went Forth", "Who Learns My Lesson Complete?", and "Great Are the Myths".

Details

  • Title Leaves of Grass
  • Author Walt Whitman; Malcolm Cowley (Editor); Introduction by Malcolm Cowley
  • Binding Paperback
  • Edition [ Edition: Repri
  • Pages 145
  • Volumes 1
  • Language ENG
  • Publisher Penguin Group, New York
  • Date 1961-07-10
  • Features Table of Contents
  • ISBN 9780140421996 / 0140421998
  • Weight 0.32 lbs (0.15 kg)
  • Dimensions 7.6 x 5 x 0.4 in (19.30 x 12.70 x 1.02 cm)
  • Ages 18 to UP years
  • Grade levels 13 - UP
  • Themes
    • Chronological Period: 19th Century
    • Ethnic Orientation: Native American
    • Sex & Gender: Gay
    • Topical: New Age
  • Library of Congress subjects American poetry
  • Library of Congress Catalog Number 76371718
  • Dewey Decimal Code 811.3

Media reviews

Citations

  • Newsweek, 10/29/2007, Page 16

About the author

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.

Malcolm Cowley (editor/introducer; 1898-1989) a leadiing literary figure of his time, wrote numerous books of literary criticism, essays, and poetry.

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Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)
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Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

by Whitman, Walt

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Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)
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Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

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Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)
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Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

by Whitman, Walt

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780140421996 / 0140421998
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Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)
Stock Photo: Cover May Be Different

Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

by Whitman, Walt

  • Used
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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780140421996 / 0140421998
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Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

by Whitman, Walt

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
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Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

by Whitman, Walt

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
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Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

by Whitman, Walt

  • Used
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  • Paperback
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Binding
Paperback
ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780140421996 / 0140421998
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Penguin Classics, 1961. Paperback. Good. Missing dust jacket; Pages can have notes/highlighting. Spine may show signs of wear. ~ ThriftBooks: Read More, Spend Less.Dust jacket quality is not guaranteed.
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$5.99
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Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

by Whitman, Walt

  • Used
  • Acceptable
  • Paperback
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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780140421996 / 0140421998
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Item Price
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Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition (Penguin Classics)

by Whitman, Walt

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  • Paperback
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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780140421996 / 0140421998
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Leaves of Grass : The First (1855) Edition
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Leaves of Grass : The First (1855) Edition

by Whitman, Walt

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780140421996 / 0140421998
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