A Guide to the Study of the United States of America


619. Walt Whitman, 1819-1892

English, Dutch, and Quaker strains converged in Whitman’s heredity. The son of a New York farmer turned carpenter, he was formally educated only through the elementary grades. He was in turn office boy, printer, itinerant country school teacher, and journalist. At the age of thirty-six he put on sale the first edition of his poems, Leaves of Grass. In this and successive editions, it is clear that Whitman saw nature "with every leaf a miracle," and human beings, including the lowly and the common, as the very stuff of which poetry could be made "todefine America, her athletic democracy." He took inspiration from the Concord circle and from the general, liberal romanticism of the first half of the 19th century; but by natural bent he became a forerunner of the realism that began to characterize American literature after 1870. The poetic technique he developed also had old derivations and new foreshadowings. A source of the cadences heard in his poetry is found in the majestic lines of the King James Bible; his loose rhythmic form was the fountainhead of the "free verse" of the 1920’s. Language as used in America fascinated him, and the "barbaric yawp" of which he boasted included slang, oddly worded catalogs of things, strained invocations, mongrel words, and tags from foreign languages. At the other extreme, however, his diction often approaches classic purity. In a mixture of both modes, he chanted the glory of democracy, the beauty of love and comradeship, the life of the American people, and the infinite variety of the country. The result was shocking to most American readers of the period, who equated it with vulgarity. His pungent vocabulary, forceful style, bathos joined to beauty, egotism, license, and boisterous optimism for a long time offended the refined and elegant members of society. Some of his poems dealing with sex were so startlingly direct that to Thoreau they sounded "asif the beasts spoke." On the other hand, the middle classes, whose spokesman Whitman desired to be, were puzzled and put off by his mysticism and Transcendentalism. In spite of the contradictoryelements in his work, time has accorded him a high place in American letters, as well as among the greatest spokesmenfordemocracy. His force was such that it has been felt around the world.

620. Leaves of grass. Brooklyn, 1855. 95 p. 3-23679 PS320l 1855 RBD

First edition.

Includes the famous first preface, omitted in the same form from later editions. In it Whitman glorifies the United States as being in themselves the greatest poem, extols the poet as a seer, and calls the highest poetic art that which is simplest and most natural.

From 1855 to 1881 when the poet made the final revision of the text, Leaves of Grass grew in succeeding editions from its original slender dimensions to a work of 438 pages. For the history and significance of this evolution see Gay W. Allen’s Walt Whitman Handbook (Chicago, Packard, 1946), p. 104-235, and Oscar L. Trigg’s "The Growth of ‘Leaves of Grass’," found in The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman, book-lover’s Camden edition, "Prose Works," v. 7, i.e. v. [10] of The Complete Writings, p. 99-134.

621. — Brooklyn, 1856. 384 p. 3-23702 PS3201 1856 RBD

Second edition.

Published by Fowler and Wells, New York, without publisher’s statement on the title page; sale was later abandoned by the firm on account of criticism.

Adds 20 new poems to 12 in the first edition and has lettered on the backstrip: "Igreet you at the beginning of a great career, R. W. Emerson." This unauthorized quotation was taken from a letter written by Emerson to acknowledge a complimentary copy of the first edition.

622. — Boston, Thayer & Eldridge, Year 85 of the States. (1860-61), 456 p. 3-23678 PS3201 1860 RBD

Third edition.

Includes 124 new poems, with revisions of those found in the two earlier editions.

623. — New York [W. E. Chapin] 1867. 338, 72, 24, 36 p. 3-23703 PS3201 1867 RBD

Fourth edition.

Includes Drum-Taps (1865; Sequel to Drum-Taps (1865-66); and Songs Before Parting. The Sequel to Drum-Taps contains the elegiacs on Lincoln, notably "When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloom’d" and "O Captain! My Captain!".

624. — Washington [New York, J. S. Redfield] 1871. 384 p. 14–7865 PS3201 1871 RBD

Fifth edition.

Includes Drum-Taps; Marches Now the War Is Over; and Songs of Parting.

625. — Author’s ed. Camden, N. J., 1882. 382 p. 43-36897 PS3201 1882b RBD

Issued from the plates of the "suppressed edition" (Boston, J. R. Osgood, 1881-82). Edition which received the poet’s last textual revisions and in which final titles and the order of arrangement were assigned to the poems.

626. Leaves of grass; including Sands at seventy, 1st annex, Good-bye my fancy, 2nd annex. "A backward glance o’er travel’d roads" … Philadelphia, McKay, 1891-92. 438 p. 3-15387 PS3201.1891 RBD

Last edition that received the author’s personal supervision; known as the "Deathbed edition."

627. Leaves of grass. Edited by Emory Holloway, from the text of the ed. authorized and editorially supervised by his literary executors, Richard Maurice Bucke, Thomas B. Harned, and Horace L. Traubel. Inclusive ed. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1954 [©1926] xx, 682 p. 54-4961 PS3201 1954a

Includes Whitman’s discarded poems, chiefly from the Putnam edition of The Complete Writings (1902), and his significant prefaces, i.e., those of 1855, 1872, 1876, and "A Backward Glance O’er Travel’d Roads" preface to November Boughs (1888).

628. Leaves of grass, and selected prose. Edited with an introd. by Sculley Bradley. New York, Rinehart, 1949. xxx, 568 p. (Rinehart editions, 28) 49-49650 PS3200.F49a

629. Leaves of grass. With an introd. by Oscar Cargill. New York, Harper, 1950. xxxi, 537 p. (Harper’s modern classics) 50-6167 PS3201 1950

630. — With an introd. by Sculley Bradley, New York, New American Library, 1954. 430 p. (A Mentor book, Ms 117) 54-10986 PS3201 1954

631. Democratic vistas. Washington, 1871. 84 p. 12–12831 E168.W61 RBD

At head of title: Memoranda.

On cover: New York, J. S. Redfield, publisher.

Copyrighted 1870, by Walt Whitman.

Prose work essential to an understanding of the poet’s theories concerning literature, democracy, and "personalism," or individualism.

632. — With an introd. by John Valente. New York, Liberal Arts Press, 1949. xvii, 69 p. (Little library of liberal arts, no. 9) 49-3309 PS3213.A2V3. "Selected Bibliography": p. xvii.

Mr. Valente is Executive Secretary of the Walt Whitman Project of Brooklyn College.

633. Specimen days & Collect. Philadelphia, R. Welsh, 1882-83. 374 p. CA12-1030 PS3220.A1 1882 RBD

A revised edition published on London, 1887, under title: Specimen Days in America. Cf. Carolyn Wells, A Concise Bibliography of Walt Whitman (Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1922).

For the most part comprises four types of prose descriptions: (1) genealogical and autobiographical information; (2) realistic memoranda taken from notebooks kept by Whitman during his experiences in camps and hospitals during the Civil War (1862-65); (3) idyllic expressions of delight in nature observed on the banks of Timber Creek while recovering from a paralytic stroke suffered in 1873; and (4) recollections of people, places, and literary figures and friends, such as Carlyle, Poe, Longfellow, and Emerson.

634. Specimen days in America. London, H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1932. xiv, 317 p. (The World’s Classics, no. 371) 32-28186 PS3220.A1 1932

635. Specimen days, Democratic vistas, and other prose, edited by Louise Pound. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, Doran, 1935. liii, 370 p. (Doubleday-Doran series in literature) 35-8359 PS3202 1935. "Selected Bibliography": p. xlvii–lii.

636.Complete poems & prose of Walt Whitman, 1855-1888; authenticated & personal book (handled by W. W.) Portraits from life, autograph. [Philadelphia, Ferguson, 1888] 382, 374, 140, 2 p. 43-36870 PS3200.E88 RBD

"Edition: Six hundred. Number one hundred forty."—Ms. note on verso of 2d preliminary leaf.

637. The complete writings of Walt Whitman. Issued under the editorial supervision of his literary executors, Richard Maurice Bucke, Thomas B. Harned, and Horace L. Traubel; with additional bibliographical and critical material prepared by Oscar Lovell Triggs, Ph.D. New York, Putnam [1902] 10 v. illus. 2-25501 PS3200.F02 RBD

"The book-lover’s Camden edition."

Limited edition of 500 signed and numbered sets. This set not numbered.

Bibliography of Walt Whitman, compiled by O. L. Triggs: v. [10], p. 135–233.

CONTENTS.—v. [1–3] Leaves of grass.—v. [4-10] The complete prose works.

638. Complete prose works. Philadelphia, McKay, 1892. viii, 522 p. 22-22228 PS3202 1892 RBD

CONTENTS.—Specimen days.—Collect.—November boughs.—Good-bye, my fancy.—Some laggards yet.—Memoranda.

639. Complete poetry & selected prose and letters, edited by Emory Holloway. London, Nonesuch Press, 1938. xxxix, 1116 p. 38-27614 PS3200.F38

"Biographical and bibliographical chronology": p. xxxi–xxxix. Published also in New York by Random House (1938).

640. Walt Whitman; representative selections, with introd. bibliography, and notes by Floyd Stovall. Rev. ed. New York, American Book Co., ©1939. lxvi, 480 p. (American writers series) 40-1112 PS3204.S8 1939. "Selected Bibliography": p. liii–lxiii.

641. Walt Whitman, selected and with notes by Mark Van Doren. New York, Viking Press, 1945. 698 p. (The Viking portable library) 45-6887 PS3203.V3

642. The complete poetry and prose of Walt Whitman, as prepared by him for the Deathbed edition. With an introd. by Malcolm Cowley. New York, Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1948. 2 v. (The American classics series. New York) 48-10006 PS3200.F48

— Reprint. Garden City, N.Y., Garden City Books, 1954, ©1948. 482, 538 p. (World famous classics) 54-7937

643. Faint clews & indirections; manuscripts of Walt Whitman and his family. Edited by Clarence Gohdes and Rollo G. Silver. Durham, Duke University Press, 1949. x, 250 p. 49-10012 PS3200.F49

"Contains the previously unpublished manuscripts of Walt Whitman and a selection from the Whitman family letters now in the Trent Collection in the Library of Duke University."

644. The best of Whitman, edited with an introd. and notes by Harold W. Blodgett. New York, Ronald Press Co., 1953. x, 478 p. 52-12519 PS3203.B6. Bibliography: p. 467-471.

645. Poems; selections with critical aids. Edited by Gay Wilson Allen and Charles T. Davis. New York, New York University Press, 1955. x, 280 p. 55-8234 PS3203.A5. Bibliography: p. 273-276.

646. The Whitman reader. Edited, with an introd., by Maxwell Geismar. New York, Pocket Books, 1955. 507 p. (Cardinal edition, GC-25) 55-23536 PS3203.G4

Includes bibliography.

The centenary of the publication of Leaves of Grass in 1955, and the years immediately preceding that date, were marked by the appearance of a large number of critical and biographical studies of Whitman. Among these are found the following:

647. Allen, Gay W. The solitary singer; a critical biography of Walt Whitman. New York, Macmillan, 1955. xii, 616 p. illus. 55-114 PS3231.A69

Bibliographical references included in "Notes" (p. 545-594).

648. Allen, Gay W., ed. Walt Whitman abroad; critical essays from Germany, France, Scandinavia, Russia, Italy, Spain, and Latin America, Israel, Japan, and India. Syracuse, N.Y., Syracuse University Press, 1955. xii, 290 p. 55-5511 PS3238.A75

Essays are given in English translations; British essays are omitted, reference being made to Harold Blodgett’s Walt Whitman in England (Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University Press, 1934. 244 p.). Includes bibliographical references.

649. Beaver, Joseph. Walt Whitman, poet of science. New York, King’s Crown Press, 1951. xv, 178 p. 51-288 PS3242.S3B4. Bibliography: p. [171]–174.

650. Briggs, Arthur E. Walt Whitman: thinker and artist. New York, Philosophical Library, 1952. 489 p. 52-13025 PS3231.B7

651. Chase, Richard V. Walt Whitman reconsidered. New York, Sloane, 1955. 191 p. 55-6326 PS3231.C47

652. Clark, Leadie M. Walt Whitman’s concept of the American common man. New York, Philosophical Library, 1955. 178 p. 55-14638 PS3242.A5C62

Thesis—University of Illinois.

653. Eby, Edwin H. A concordance of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of grass and selected prose writings. Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1949-54. 5 v. A50-9002rev PS3245.E2

654. Faner, Robert D. Walt Whitman & opera. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1951. xi, 249 p. 51-7724 PS3242.M8F3. Bibliography: p. 237-244.

655. Freedman, Florence B., ed. Walt Whitman looks at the schools. New York, King’s Crown Press, 1950. xii, 278 p. 51-9067 PS3204.F7

The editor’s thesis—Columbia University.

Includes articles on schools and the education of youth that appeared in the Brooklyn Evening Star and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Bibliography: p. [261]–272.

656. Hindus, Milton, ed. Leaves of grass one hundred years after; new essays. Stanford, Calif., Stanford University Press, 1955. 149 p. 54-11783 PS3231.H5

Among the contributors are: William Carlos Williams, Richard Chase, Leslie Fiedler, Kenneth Burke, David Daiches, and J. Middleton Murry.

657. Rubin, Joseph J., and Charles H. Brown, eds. Walt Whitman of the New York Aurora, editor at twenty-two. A collection of recently discovered writings. State College, Pa., Bald Eagle Press, 1950. viii, 147 p. 50-14220 PS3203.R8

658. Traubel, Horace. With Walt Whitman in Camden. Boston, Small, Maynard, 1906-53. 4 v. illus. 8-5603 PS3232.T7

Volume 2 has imprint: New York, D. Appleton; volume 3, New York, M. Kennerley; volume 4, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press.

659. U.S. Library ol Congress. Reference Dept. Walt Whitman; a catalog based upon the collections of the Library of Congress. With Notes on Whitman collections and collectors [by Charles E. Feinberg] Washington, 1955. xviii, 147 p. 55-60006 Z8971.5.U62 Z663.2.W3

660. U. S. Library of Congress. Reference Dept. Walt Whitman: man, poet, philosopher; three lectures presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund. Washington, 1955. 53 p. 55-60021 PS3131.U52 Z663.2.W32

CONTENTS.—The man, by G. W. Allen.—The poet, by M. Van Doren.—The philosopher, by D. Daiches.

661. Willard, Charles B. Whitman’s American fame, the growth of his reputation in America after 1892. Providence, Brown University, 1950. 269 p. (Brown University studies, v. 12. Americana series, no. 3) 50-5345rev PS3238.W55

Thesis—Brown University.

Bibliography: p. [253]–257.


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Chicago: "619. Walt Whitman, 1819-1892," A Guide to the Study of the United States of America in Donald H. Mugridge, Blanche P. McCrum, and Roy P. Basler, a Guide to the Study of the United States of America (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1960), Pp.58-62 59–62. Original Sources, accessed October 1, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L9DZ5B4UPAC78SA.

MLA: . "619. Walt Whitman, 1819-1892." A Guide to the Study of the United States of America, in Donald H. Mugridge, Blanche P. McCrum, and Roy P. Basler, a Guide to the Study of the United States of America (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1960), Pp.58-62, pp. 59–62. Original Sources. 1 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L9DZ5B4UPAC78SA.

Harvard: , '619. Walt Whitman, 1819-1892' in A Guide to the Study of the United States of America. cited in , Donald H. Mugridge, Blanche P. McCrum, and Roy P. Basler, a Guide to the Study of the United States of America (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1960), Pp.58-62, pp.59–62. Original Sources, retrieved 1 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L9DZ5B4UPAC78SA.