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By Walt Whitman, Leslie Jamison

Whitman’s uniquely revealing impressions of the folk, locations, and occasions of his time—with an excellent new advent by way of Leslie Jamison, writer of the bestselling The Empathy Exams.

One of the main inventive and person poets the United States has produced, Walt Whitman used to be additionally a prolific diarist, note-taker, and essayist whose intimate observations and reflections have profoundly deepened realizing of nineteenth-century American lifestyles. Specimen Days and Collect, first released in 1882, is a call choice of Whitman’s uniquely revealing impressions of the folks, areas, and occasions of his time, largely the period of the Civil battle and its aftermath.

On web page after web page, an enormous landscape of yank existence unfolds, and with it infrequent glimpse of Whitman as poet, empathetic observer, and romantic wanderer. From his years as a wartime nurse in Washington, D.C., come touching glimpses of the lifeless and death in army hospitals, thoughts of Abraham Lincoln, and shiny impressions of the nation’s capital in a time of significant crisis.

Whitman’s shuttle yields memorable memories of Boston, the Hudson Valley, a stroll via valuable Park, Niagara Falls, the town of Denver, and extra. besides the famed essay “Democratic Vistas,” there are scenes from the poet’s youth, touching tributes to songbirds, wildflowers, friendship and freedom; impressions of the song of Beethoven, reflections on a final stopover at to Emerson, the deaths of Lincoln and Longfellow and the painful means of aging.

Deeply felt and vividly expressed, Specimen Days and Collect is a richly worthwhile adventure, a unprecedented day trip into the brain and heard of 1 of America’s maximum poets—and the the US his poetry so richly honored

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Extra info for Specimen Days & Collect

Example text

Out from these arrieres of persons and scenes, I was born May 31, 1819. And now to dwell awhile on the locality itself—as the successive growth stages of my infancy, childhood, youth and manhood were all pass’d on Long Island, which I sometimes feel as if I had incorporated. I roam’d, as boy and man, and have lived in nearly all parts, from Brooklyn to Montauk point. PAUMANOK, AND MY LIFE ON IT AS CHILD AND YOUNG MAN. Worth fully and particularly investigating indeed this Paumanok, (to give the spot its aboriginal name,‡) stretching east through Kings, Queens and Suffolk counties, 120 miles altogether—on the north Long Island sound, a beautiful, varied and picturesque series of inlets, “necks” and sea-like expansions, for a hundred miles to Orient point.

In the prose of Specimen Days, we hear a sharper sense of futility in Whitman’s voice than in his poetry, the sense that he can’t adequately evoke even a fraction of their suffering. ” Which didn’t mean he stopped trying. Indeed, there was something that got absolutely fierce in his desire for us to understand—his readers now, his readers then, his readers always and whenever. ” There’s something almost charming in this desperate plea—this sense that if only we could summon “the lion’s lapping thirst for blood” we could get some handle on this suffering.

In 1862, in the midst of the Civil War, Whitman left New York and headed south to search for his brother George, who had been wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg. , and volunteered as a nurse in army hospitals. He also had a series of government jobs, including working for the Secretary of the Interior—who subsequently fired Whitman on “moral grounds,” purportedly after reading Leaves of Grass. ” In 1873, he moved to his brother’s house in Camden, New Jersey, to recover from a stroke. He would spend his final years there, surrounded by visitors and friends, among them Oscar Wilde and Thomas Eakins.

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