Walt Whitman: Song of Myself (2270 words)


When Walt Whitman published Leaves of Grass in early July 1855, he sent an unsolicited copy to Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose essay “The Poet” had provided an important part of Whitman’s inspiration for his poetry. Emerson privately hailed Whitman’s work with these now-famous lines (famous to present readers because Whitman included them without Emerson’s permission in the second edition of Leaves of Grass): “I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit & wisdom that America has yet contributed”, and preeminent critic Harold Bloom concurs, in his introduction to the 150th Anniversary Edition of Leaves of Grass: “One century and a half later, it is still ‘the most …

Citation: McQuillan, Jennifer . "Song of Myself". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 August 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35582, accessed 30 May 2020.]

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