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About this Item

Title: Saturday Evening Visitor

Creator: Susan Belasco

Publication information: Written for the Walt Whitman Archive. First published on the Archive in 2008.

Whitman Archive ID: per.00170

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Susan Belasco, and Kevin McMullen


From 1863 to 1873, Whitman lived mostly in Washington, D.C., where he nursed war wounded, prepared two new editions of Leaves of Grass, and worked for the United States government. As Martin Murray has noted, Whitman published nearly one hundred new poems during these years. One of them, "The Singer in the Prison," was published in the Saturday Evening Visitor, a short-lived, illustrated weekly newspaper published in Washington from 1869 to 1870. The poem, one of Whitman's works inspired by a specific occasion, commemorates the performance of Euphrosyne Parepa Rosa (1836–1874), a Scottish singer. With her husband, Carl Rosa, she formed an English opera company between the years 1869–1872, and the group toured in the United States throughout 1869. Whitman may have attended a performance at Sing Sing, a state prison established north of New York City in 1828.

Bibliography

Murray, Martin. "Washington, D.C., 1863–1873." In Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, edited by J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings. New York: Garland Publishing, 1998.

Myerson, Joel. Walt Whitman: A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993.

Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass: Comprehensive Reader's Edition. Edited by Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley. New York: New York University Press, 1965.

Poems

"The Singer in the Prison." Saturday Evening Visitor, 25 December 1869, [4]


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