Contemporary Reviews

About this Item

Title: [Review of Specimen Days and Collect]

Creator: unknown [unsigned in original]

Date: November 1, 1882

Whitman Archive ID: anc.00228

Source: The Evening Transcript 1 November 1882: [unknown]. The electronic text for this file was prepared by Whitman Archive staff and affiliates, who transcribed the text from a representation of the original (e.g., photocopy, digital scan or other electronic reproduction, microfilm copy). The electronic text was originally prepared in Microsoft Word for submission to the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review. The transcription was then exported from Microsoft Word as plain text and encoded for publication on the Whitman Archive. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the reviews, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Natalie O'Neal, Elizabeth Lorang, and Vanessa Steinroetter

Walt Whitman's new book, "Specimen Days and Collect" is a literary curiosity made up of extracts from journals and diaries of different years; disjointed bits of criticism, argument, reminiscence, description and speculation, with comments upon persons, events and things; fragments of essays and correspondence; scraps written for newspapers; samples from his commonplace book, and what is quite as interesting as anything else, a brief biography of himself. Added to this, in a second part of the book, are "Democratic Vistas," the long essay written for one of the reviews some years ago; the long preface to the first edition of "Leaves of Grass," published in 1855; "Poetry Today in America," "The Poetry of the Future," and "A Memorandum of a Venture." An appendix contains several stories written in the author's youth, and his two first attempts at poetry. There is no trace or suggestion in its pages of what caused his volume of poems to be read out of decent society. The first part of the volume is mostly given up to war reminiscences, and is full of interest. [Published by Rees, Welsh & Co., Philadelphia.


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