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I Hear America Singing

Poems of Democracy, Manhattan and the Future

Walter Whitman

Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (96 pages)
(Pub. Dec 2001)
9780856463402
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
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    I Hear America Singing

    I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
    Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe
         and strong,
    The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
    The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves
         off work,
    The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand
         singing on the steamboat deck,
    The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing
         as he stands,
    The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning,
         or at noon intermission or at sundown,
    The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or
         of the girl sewing or washing,
    Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
    The day what belongs to the day – at night the party of young
         fellows, robust, friendly,
    Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
     

    Walt Whitman (1819–92) is the authentic voice of democratic America. After a childhood in Brooklyn, he spent many years in and around Manhattan and Washington, where he witnessed troops returning from the Civil War and tended wounded soldiers in the camp hospitals.

    Whitman’s broad humanity, his love of cities (especially Manhattan), his sympathy with all conditions of people, and his visionary – even prophetic – sense of the reality of the American dream make him as much a poet for our time as he was for the time of the American Civil War and its aftermath.

    This selection of courageous and consoling poems focuses on Whitman’s vision of democracy, his love of Manhattan, his sense of the future – and of the community of peoples of this earth.

    This book was conceived and published in the aftermath of 9/11.

    Walt Whitman (born 1819) is widely considered to be the greatest of all American poets. Largely self-taught, he read voraciously, including works by the great classic writers – Homer, Dante, Shakespeare. In 1836, at the age of 17, he began his career as a teacher and continued to teach until 1841 ... read more
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