Walt Whitman is one of the most popular American poets. His work has been loved, criticized and admired by many. One of his contributions to the world of poems is “Leaves of Grass”. This book is said to be comprised of twelve poems in total and it is known to be published by Walt Whitman using his own funds. He beautifully captured his views and ideas in this compilation. His own beliefs about the life cycle which includes birth, death, and rebirth are expressed in a poetic way in this book.
The first edition of the book was initially published in the year 1855; however, it is widely known that Walt Whitman kept rewriting this book for many years. Known to be inclined towards the soul, divinity and human side of the world, Walt Whitman’s poems in “Leaves of Grass” initially got a lot of criticism for its boldness when it comes to talking about the human body, senses, and materialistic world. Some of the popular poems from this particular collection include:
- I Sing the Body Electric
- When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed
- Song to Myself
- Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
The display of poems describing the sexual side was not very common in the times when this book was initially published, and hence there was a huge outcry. However, after some time passed, the society’ s perceptions changed and people started looking at these poems from an artistic view point and realized how beautifully they were written. This book is a treasure for American poetry and is a great gift by Walt Whitman.
With a lot of editions to its credit, “Leaves of Grass” was edited by Walt Whitman up till the very last days of his life. This is definitely a must read for all poem lovers.