Contemporary Reviews

About this Item

Title: [Review of Leaves of Grass (1860–61)]

Creator: unknown [unsigned in original]

Date: July 1860

Whitman Archive ID: anc.00042

Source: The Crayon 7 (July 1860): 211. The original electronic text for this file was prepared for Walt Whitman, The Contemporary Reviews, ed. Kenneth M. Price (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), and the transcription was completed by consulting a representation of the original (e.g., photocopy, microfilm copy). Following publication of that volume, Price received an updated transcription file from Cambridge University Press, and the Whitman Archive has used the final file from the publisher as the basis for the electronic text presented here. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the reviews, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Liz Lorang, Vanessa Steinroetter, Todd Stabley, Natalie O'Neal, and Charles Green

LEAVES OF GRASS, by Walt Whitman. Eldridge & Thayer, Boston.

It seems as if the author of Leaves of Grass had converted his mind into a mental reservoir by tumbling into it pêle-mêle all the floating conceits his brain ever gave birth to. He manifests no other sign of mental capacity; for we find no trace of judgment, taste, or healthy sensibility in the work. It is a book of poetry such as may well please twenty-one year old statesmen and philosophers, and people who pride themselves more in being able to read and write than able to think. Such poetry(!) is characteristic of a country like ours, where there is abundance of everything to eat and drink, and to wear, and good pay for labor.


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