Earth, My Likeness: Nature Poetry of Walt Whitman

Earth, My Likeness: Nature Poetry of Walt Whitman

  • ISBN-13: 9781556439100
  • $13.29

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While Walt Whitman is best known as America’s first great urban poet, he was also a gifted nature poet, as the selections in this book show. Here his celebration of the “body electric” from Leaves of Grass expands into a celebration of an equally electrifying nature as he memorializes the seashore, the night sky, animals, even daydreaming in the grass. Whitman considered humans and animals “an interesting continuum,” in the words of editor Howard Nelson, and felt that “wilderness—the true, essential wilderness of the universe—is still with us as long as we can see a river or an ocean or the night sky.”Whitman was unsurpassed at describing people as natural creatures—including not only experiences of animal calm but also the instinctual life and the sensations and yearnings of the body. Earth, My Likeness, which includes numerous prose selections taken from the author’s Specimen Days, showcases his entwining of outer nature and inner nature, the unique way he made his nature poetry and his love poetry inseparable. Howard Nelson’s introduction includes biographical information, analysis, and a fascinating comparison of Thoreau, Melville, and Whitman. Roderick MacIver’s shimmering watercolors perfectly complement Whitman’s immortal words.

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