Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. Although controversial upon publication, Whitman's great work, Leaves of Grass, is considered one of the most influential works in the American canon.
'I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, / I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.'
To mark 160 years since its first publication, a new edition of the great American poet's most famous work
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself.
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
Abundant, ecstatic, generous, courageous - this is the first American epic poem, a celebration of selfhood and a catalogue of nineteenth-century American life of all ages and races. Revolutionary in style and controversial in content when it was first published in 1855, Whitman's masterwork has since inspired generations with its intoxicating rhythms and images, and its inclusive, praiseful joy.
THE ORIGINAL 1855 TEXT