- Author – Walt Whitman
- Genre – Poetry
- Date – 1855
Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman. Though the first edition of this poetry collection was published in 1855 with Mr. spent his entire life writing and rewriting leaves of grass, he revised it in several editions until his death. This resulted in very different editions over four decades the first edition was a small book of 12 poems and now the last edition is a compilation of over 400 poems all put together.
It is said that Walt Whitman was inspired when he read an essay called The Poet by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and that this inspiration led to him for writing Leaves of Grass. In his work the poet Ralph said that the United States of America needed to have it its own Poet to write about the country’s virtues and vices. And that is exactly what Whitman set out to do when writing the first edition of Leaves of Grass.
Whitman Registered the Titan Leaves of Grass with the Clerk of the United States District Court in May 1855 and Received Its Copyright. Following which the first edition of the book was published in Brooklyn at Fulton Street printing shop owned by James and Andrew Rome whom Whitman had known since the 1840s.
Overview of the Collection
All the poems in Leaves of Grass are loosely connected and intertwined where each poem represents a part of Whitman and his philosophy of life and humanity. The most notable aspect of the book is the way it describes and takes actual delight in describing and discussing sensual pleasures during a time when such displays were considered immoral. Much of the previous poetry especially in English usually used symbolism and allegory along with meditative and spiritual themes but leaves of grass used to the body and the material world for its themes. Whitman’s poetry praises nature and each and every human that plays a role in it. However it still holds the role of the mind or the spirit in its themes. Some of the more famous poems from the collection are.
- Song of Myself.
- I Sing the Body Electric.
- Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking.
- When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.
In poems like Song of Myself Whitman Has emphasized the “I” who serves as the narrator and tries to relate the social and private problems by using powerful affirmative cultural images. The collection lays emphasis on American culture and back health it to reach Whitman’s intention of creating a distinctively American home.