Collection “Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (1855-1891)
The writer typed the first edition of the collection in his own right in 1855. It was carried out for the author’s money, without indicating his name. The book had 12 poems and untitled poems. The cover was dominated by green. Throughout his life, with each new edition, he replenished the collection, leaving the symbolic name “Leaves of Grass”. The third edition of 1860 consisted of about a hundred poems. The most recent 1891 edition is considered the “deathbed edition”.
So “Leaves of Grass” is a book that the author wrote for almost 40 years.
The collection is perceived as a single integral performance, which has an original structure and consists of separate cycles. It is believed that the theme of the book is “This is Walt Whitman himself,” the plot is “Man and the Universe,” the idea is “the eternal and inevitable triumph of man.”
Whitman wrote about world democracy, the brotherhood of all nations, people of work, the achievement of science and technological progress, as well as about body and soul, life and death, about nature and man, man and space, about men and women, America and Americans, about poets and poetry, war and peace, etc.
The title of the collection “Leaves of Grass” reflects the natural unity of man with the world, the powerful relationship of all that exists. In the book, Whitman strove to create a national epic that would give an exhaustive picture of reality. His “I” is “projected” to other people, to countries and space.
A special place in the collection is occupied by the generalized image of America. The poet tried to embody faith in the “American dream”, in the exceptional historical mission of the United States. At times, poems sound annoyed by the president’s indecisive policy regarding the slaveholders of the south.
Poems dedicated to the memory of Likoln, which was a symbol of democracy for the poet, became a textbook. The poems “When the Lilac Blossomed Last Time” (1865 – 1866) and “Oh Captain, My Captain! ..” (1865) are filled with motives of sadness and sadness.