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By David S. Reynolds

From the good occasions of the day to the sufferer workings of a spider, few poets answered to the lifestyles round them as powerfully as Walt Whitman. Now, during this short yet bountiful quantity, David S. Reynolds deals a wealth of perception into the lifestyles and paintings of Whitman, studying the writer throughout the lens of nineteenth-century America.
Reynolds indicates how Whitman replied to modern theater, track, portray, images, technological know-how, faith, and intercourse. yet maybe not anything motivated Whitman greater than the political occasions of his lifetime, because the fight over slavery threatened to tear aside the nationwide cloth. the US, he believed, desperately wanted a poet to carry jointly a society that used to be at the verge of unraveling. He created his strong, all-absorbing poetic "I" to heal a fragmented kingdom that, he was hoping, might locate in his poetry new probabilities for concept and togetherness. Reynolds additionally examines the impression of theater, describing how Whitman's favourite actor, the tragedian Junius Brutus Booth--"one of the grandest revelations of my life"--developed a powerfully emotive level kind that encouraged Leaves of Grass, which took passionate poetic expression to new heights. Readers also will become aware of how from the hot medium of images Whitman discovered democratic realism and provided in his poetry "photographs" of universal humans engaged in daily actions. Reynolds concludes with an appraisal of Whitman's impression on American letters, a power that continues to be powerful today.
Solidly grounded in historic and biographical evidence, and incredibly wide-ranging within the issues it treats, Walt Whitman packs a blinding volume of perception right into a compact quantity.

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