Leaves of Grass
Leaves of Grass had its genesis in an 1844 essay entitled “The Poet,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, which expressed the need for the United States to have its own new and unique poet to write about the young country's virtues and vices. Whitman, reading the essay, consciously set out to answer Emerson's call and drafted the twelve poems that make up this book. He spent much of his professional life writing and re-writing Leaves of Grass, revising it multiple times until his death. This resulted in vastly different editions over four decades—from this first small book to the final edition of a massive compilation of over 400 poems.
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892
Brooklyn, New York: Walt Whitman; Printed by Rome Brothers
xii, -95,  pages,  leaf of plates : 1 illustration ; 29 cm
Kent State University
Special Collections and Archives
From the library of A. Edward Newton
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Image of front cover only
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Curated by Kathleen Siebert Medicus with guest contributors