walt whitmans works










Walt Whitman\'s Works






Walter Whitman, Jr., was born on May 31, 1819, at Long Island, New

York, to poor, obscure parents of English, Dutch, and Welsh descent-- the second son in

a family of nine children. The first of his work was called "Leaves of Grass", at 1855. "It

represents him as such, in shirt and trousers, with one hand on his hip and the other in his

pocket (7; 137)." " \'Leaves of Grass,\' is Whitman\'s own means of freeing himself from the

outward and understandable world of precipitating himself into the mood of ecstasy (7;

164)." About eight hundred copies of "Leaves of Grass" were printed. Very few were

sold. Dr. Bucke, Whitman\'s first biographer, replies, "Whitman can in the \'Leaves of

Grass\' identify the traces of Whitman\'s first remarkable mystic experience (7; 144)." The

readers of "Leaves of Grass" discovered that there was twelve untitled poems and a

preface explaining the poets view of poetry and its purpose. Whitman has made an impact

on others and his works mature.

Walt Whitman also understands how the past continues to exist: it exists in

the present, and comes into living form only when some individual man is willing to

challenge it. "Whitman\'s poetry has delicacy of music, of diction, and of form (8; 88)."

Whitman quotes, "Soul sympathizes with soul . And that which tries to kill my soul, my

soul hates. My soul and body are one. Soul and body wish to keep clean and whole (8;

22)." His message about himself is that he is the master of his fate. He is the captain of

his soul. Whitman\'s essential message was the "open road." "Now Whitman wanted his

soul to save itself, \'he\' didn\'t want to save it. It is a narrow, tight way, where the soul

walks hemmed in between compulsions (8; 20)." His heroic message is: the soul is not to

pile up defenses round herself. She is to go down the open road, as the road opens, into

the unknown.

"Now Whitman was a great moralist. He was a great leader. He was a

great changer of the blood in the veins of men (8; 18)." "Whitman is a very great poet, at

the end of life. A very great post mortem poet, of the transitions of the soul as it loses its

integrity (8; 17)." Whitman was the first to break the mental allegiance. He was the first

to smash the old moral conception, that the soul of man is something "superior", and

"above" the flesh. "Whitman would never have been the great poet he is if he had not

taken the last steps and looked over into death (8; 17)." There is much nonsense in

Whitman, but there is also one of the finest qualities of the American artist.

"The \'Open Road\' is one of the most haunting of all his compositions. It

symbolizes to enter heartily upon the journey of life, questing for the unknown (7; 155)."

Some of his other works like "Salut au Monde" is the first of his few well- articulated

poems, a survey of the whole world-- its sounds, its physical aspect, its rivers, and deserts.

From Gilbert Highet, he criticises about "The Fourth of July," he says, "Sometimes he

seemed willfully grotesque, as though he enjoyed his own clumsiness, like a lazy cowhand

slouching on the back of an ill-cared-for horse (6; 123)." Whitman described, " \'Specimen

Days\' is perhaps the most wayward, spontaneous, fragmentary book ever printed (2; 37)."

"Specimen Days" is to be found much of Whitman\'s most complex and beautiful poems.

Somewhat resembles an opers, beginning with a rich overture in which the themes are

stated and the mood evoked. The language and imagery in which "Out of Cradle" reflects

a world of pain assuage, contradictions reconciled, and disruptive power placated.

"The basic weaknesses of \'Democratic Vistas\' is its unquestioning belief in

progress, its lack of an objective sense of history and of an understanding of society as the

focus of evolving institutions (2; 36)." "Democratic Vistas" is Whitman\'s most

considerable pronouncement on social and cultural issues. The message of American

democracy, the true democracy, where soul meets soul, in the open road. Democracy.

American democracy is where all journey goes down the open road.

So he