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Walt Whitman Speaks

His Final Thoughts on Life, Writing, Spirituality, and the Promise of Am
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To mark the bicentenary of Walt Whitman's death, Carcanet publishes a distillation from Horace Traubel's conversations with the great American poet. Whitman speaks from the heart, an old man who changed the course of American poetry and, by extension, the poetries of Europe, Asia, Latin America... A young journalist and reformer, Traubel visited him nearly every day at his home in Camden, New Jersey. Whitman liked to talk, especially about the big issues, spiritual, political, all he'd learned over seven decades of peace and war. Traubel's meticulous transcriptions were published in nine volumes. Brenda Wineapple (Ecstatic Nation) compiled this selection: the sage, visionary, and philosopher, advocate for expansive and liberated being, stands tall. Here, too, is the poet's worldly side - recalling the opprobrium heaped on Leaves of Grass for its poetic risks and sexual frankness; memories of Thoreau, Emerson, and Lincoln; his judgments of Shakespeare, Goethe, and Tolstoy; and his sense of the Nation.
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