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March 2012
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Selections for Whitman

The Library of America edition of Leaves of Grass which I ordered for our reading contains both the 1855 and the final editions. You'll be able to trace the evolution of some of the poems in the final edition as well as appreciate the organic unity of the 1855 version. For our session, I suggest you read the following selections.

From the 1855 edition:

  • Preface
  • Song of Myself
  • A Song for Occupations
  • I Sing the Body Electric
  • There was a Child Went Forth
  • Who Learns my Lesson Complete
  • Great Are the Myths

From the final edition:

  • One's-Self I Sing
  • Eidolons
  • Starting from Paumonok
  • Of the Terrible Doubt of Appearances
  • I Hear It Was Charged Against Me
  • Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
  • Pioneers! O Pioneers!
  • Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
  • The Wound-Dresser
  • When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed
  • O Captain! My Captain!
  • You Felons on Trial in Courts
  • Laws for Creations
  • Kosmos
  • Passage to India
  • The Sleepers
  • A Noiseless Patient Spider
  • Halcyon Days
  • Shakespere-Bacon's Cipher
  • A Backward Glance O'er Travel'd Roads