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A deluxe edition of Whitman's crowning achievement, with an introductory essay by Harold Bloom
I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
When Walt Whitman self-published his Leaves of Grass in July 1855, he altered the course of literary history. One of the greatest masterpieces of American literature, it redefined the rules of poetry while describing the soul of the American character. Throughout his great career, Whitman continuously revised, expanded, and republished Leaves of Grass, but as Harold Bloom reminds us, the book that matters most is the 1855 original. In celebration of the poem’s 150th anniversary, Penguin Classics proudly presents the 1855 text in its original and complete form, with a specially commissioned introductory essay by Harold Bloom.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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.
Harold Bloom was the Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University and a former Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard. His more than twenty-five books included Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?; Hamlet; Genius; How to Read and Why; Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human; The Western Canon; The Book of J; and The Anxiety of Influence. He was a MacArthur Prize Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, including the Academy’s Gold Medal for Belles Lettres and Criticism, the International Prize of Catalonia, and the Alfonso Reyes Prize of Mexico.
"Whitman's best poems have that permanent quality of being freshly painted, of not being dulled by the varnish of the years." --Malcolm Cowley