Walt Whitman - Washington State University

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America sDonna Campbell Dept of English Washington StateUniversity Birth and Early Career Born 31 May 1819 near.
Huntington Long Island Second child of 8 bornto Walter and Louisa VanVelsor Whitman Works as printer s.
apprentice to 1835 andas a schoolteacher The Journalist 1844 Worked for severaldifferent newspapers.
Wrote short fictionfrom 1841 1848 Themes andtechniques borrowedfrom Poe and.
The Brooklyn Eagle 1846 1848 Becomes chief editor of theBrooklyn Eagle a post he holds from fromMarch 5 1846 to January 18 1848 In May 1848 Whitman is fired because his.
politics conflict with those of the publisher A free soil or locofoco Democrat Whitman opposes the expansion of slaveryinto new territories Pulp Fiction .
Franklin Evans 1842 Temperance novel Sold 20 000 copies more than any otherwork Whitman published.
in his lifetime New Orleans Lives in New Orleans for 4months as editor of theDaily Crescent .
Sees slavery and slave markets at first hand Experiences with nature live oaks with moss andwith French language later.
appear in his poetry Influences Literature and Music Italian opera Were it not for the opera Icould never have written Leaves of Grass Shakespeare especially Richard III .
Whitman saw Junius Brutus Booth fatherof John Wilkes Booth perform The Bible Thomas Carlyle s Sartor Resartus Emerson helped.
Whitman to findhimself I wassimmering simmering Emerson brought.
me to a boil Literary Acquaintances Edgar Allan Poe William Cullen Bryant Amos Bronson Alcott.
Henry David Thoreau Friends at Pfaff s Restaurant Bohemians 1859 1862 Elihu Vedder E C Stedman Ada Clare Henry Clapp.
Whitman and Phrenology July 16 1849 Aphrenological examinationconfirms Whitman s senseof his own character .
revealing bumps of Sympathy Sublimity and Self Esteem alongwith the dangerous faultof Indolence .
Whitman in 1854 His friend Dr MauriceBucke called this theChrist likeness inwhich the poet as seer.
begins to emerge In Leaves of Grass Whitman would write I am the man Isuffer d I was there .
Leaves of Grass 1855Twelve poems including Song of Myself I Sing the Body Electric The Sleepers .
Only 795 copies printedFamily tradition says thatWhitman set some of the typefor this edition Leaves of Grass 1855.
Walt Whitman an American one ofthe roughs a kosmos Disorderly fleshy and sensual eating drinking and breeding No sentimentalist no stander.
above men and women or apartfrom them no more modestthan immodest Whoever degrades another degradesme and whatever is done or.
said returns at last to me And whatever I do or say I also Whitman s Themes Transcendent power of love brotherhood andcomradeship.
Imaginative projection into others lives Optimistic faith in democracy and equality Belief in regenerative and illustrative powers ofnature and its value as a teacher Equivalence of body and soul and the unabashed.
exaltation of the body and sexuality Whitman s Poetic Techniques Free verse lack of metrical regularity and conventional Use of repeated images symbols phrases and grammatical Use of enumerations and catalogs.
Use of anaphora initial repetition in lines and Epanaphora each line hangs by a loop from the linebefore it The Whitman envelope Contrast and parallelism in paired lines.
From Song of Myself Where the heifers browse and the geese nip their food with short Where the sundown shadows lengthen over the limitless and lonesome Where the herds of buffalo make a crawling spread of the squaremiles far and near .
Where the hummingbird shimmers where the neck of thelonglived swan is curving and winding Where the laughing gull scoots by the slappy shore and laughs hernear human laugh Whitman s Use of Language.
Idiosyncratic spelling and punctuation Words used for their sounds as much as theirsense foreign languages Use of language from several disciplines The sciences anatomy astronomy botany.
especially the flora and fauna of America Businesses and professions such as carpentry Military and war terms nautical terms Reviews Praise Ralph Waldo Emerson letter to Whitman .
21 July 1855 I find Leaves of Grass the mostextraordinary piece of wit wisdom thatAmerica has yet contributed I greet youat the beginning of a great career which yet.
must have had a long foregroundsomewhere for such a start Reviews Praise I am not unaware that the charge ofcoarseness and sensuality has been affixed.
to them My moral constitution may behopelessly tainted or too sound to betainted as the critic wills but I confess thatI extract no poison from these Leaves tome they have brought only healing Fanny.
Fern critic and popular essayist Reviews and Protests Foul work filled with libidinousness The Christian Examiner There are too many persons who imagine they.
demonstrate their superiority to their fellows bydisregarding all the politenesses and decencies oflife and therefore justify themselves in indulgingthe vilest imaginings and shamefullest license Rufus Griswold The Criterion .
Early Editions of Leaves of Grass1855 Self published the first edition1856 Added new poems and revised old ones 1860 Began grouping poems thematically includes A Child s Reminiscence which will become.
Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking 1867 Incorporates Drum Taps 1865 including When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom d and O Captain My Captain Leaves of Grass 1856.
Whitman has Emerson s praise printed onthe spine in gold letters I greet you at thebeginning of a great career I do not believe that all the sermons so called that have been preached in this land.
put together are equal to it for preaching Henry David Thoreau Leaves of Grass 1860 146 new poems added to the 32poems of the second edition .
including I hear Americasinging Enfans d Adam section 15poems on amativeness or lovefor women and Calamus 32.
poems on adhesiveness orlove between men Civil War After his brother is woundedat Fredericksburg 1862 .
Whitman goes toWashington to care for himand stays for nearly 3 years visiting the wounded writingletters and keeping up their.
One Wounded Soldier s View Every Sunday there were half a dozen oldroosters who would come into my ward andpreach and pray and sing to us while wewere swearing to ourselves all the time and.
wishing the blamed old fools would goaway Walt Whitman s funny stories and hispipes and tobaccos were worth more than allthe preachers and tracts in Christendom Whitman and Lincoln.
Whitman saw Lincolnoften but the two nevermet face to face When lilacs last in thedooryard bloom d .
O Captain MyCaptain Walt Whitman Civil Servant 1862 Clerk at the Paymaster s Office 1865 1 January Becomes a clerk at the.
Bureau of Indian Affairs a post he enjoys Fired in May because Secretary of theInterior James Harlan sees Leaves of Grassin Whitman s desk drawer and denounces itas immoral .
The Good Gray Poet May 1865 Whitman s friendWilliam Douglas O Connorsecures him a job at the AttorneyGeneral s office a post he holds.
until he leaves after he suffers astroke in 1873 O Connor publishes The GoodGray Poet A Vindication 1866 the beginning of a shift.
in Whitman s public persona andpopularity Later Editions of Leaves of Grass1872 Includes 120 page annex A Passage to India1881 1882 The firm of James R Osgood.
discontinues publishing Leaves of Grass after it isbanned in Boston Whitman takes the copies andbinds and sells them himself 1888 1889 Leaves of Grass Birthday Edition is thefirst pocket sized version .
1891 92 Deathbed Edition Leaves of Grass 1872 Includes Drum Tapsand Sequel to Drum Includes an annex A.
Passage to India Specimen Days and Collect 1882 Autobiographical work withfocus on the Civil War andWhitman s trip west to Kansas.
and Colorado Counterpart to the 1881 1882edition of Leaves of Grass Begun much earlier asMemoranda During the War and.
partly inspired by Louisa MayAlcott s Hospital Sketches 328 Mickle Street Camden In 1884 Whitmanpurchases a house.
at 328 MickleStreet Camden New Jersey for It is the first househe has ever owned .
Leaves of Grass 1889 and 1891 1891 edition includes Good Bye My Fancy These editions mixautobiographical prose.
reminiscences with poetry The Poet at Home Whitman would allow no oneto pick up his papers sayingthat whatever he wanted.
surfaced sooner or later Whitman died on 26 March1892 at about 6 30 p m and isburied in the tomb that he had Sources are given in the notes section of the.
slides except as noted in the notes below Pictures are courtesy of the Walt WhitmanHypertext Archive at the University ofhttp jefferson village virgini... .
1888-1889 Leaves of Grass (Birthday Edition) is the first pocket-sized version. 1891-92 “Deathbed Edition” Leaves of Grass, 1872 Includes Drum-Taps and Sequel to Drum-Taps Includes an “annex,” A Passage to India Specimen Days and Collect, 1882 Autobiographical work with focus on the Civil War and Whitman’s trip west to Kansas and ...

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