Contemporary Reviews

About this Item

Title: Leaves of Grass. Boston: Thayer & Eldridge.

Creator: unknown [unsigned in original]

Date: July 15, 1860

Whitman Archive ID: anc.02117

Source: The New York Herald 15 July 1860: 2. The electronic text for this file was prepared by Whitman Archive staff, who transcribed the text from a representation of the original (e.g., digital scan or other electronic reproduction, microfilm copy). For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the reviews, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Jeannette Schollaert, Kevin McMullen, and Nicole Gray

LEAVES OF GRASS. Boston: Thayer & Eldridge.

A very remarkable series of poems, which have created the fiercest disputes in literary circles. With much that is undeniable trash, we find here and there passages which display strong ideality, rich imagination, and large descriptive power, such as the following:—

In the Mannahatta, streets, piers, shipping, storehouses, and the countless workmen working in the shops,
And I too of the Mannahatta, singing thereof—and no less in myself than the whole of the Mannahatta in itself,
Singing the song of These, my ever united lands—my body no more inevitably united, part to part, and made one identity, any more than my lands are inevitably united, and made one identity,
Nativities, climates, the grass of the great Pastoral Plains,
Cities, labors, death, animals, products, good and evil—these me,
hese1 affording, in all their particulars, endless feuillage to me and to America, how can I do less than pass the clew of the union of them, to afford the like to you?
Whoever you are! how can I but offer you divine leaves, that you also be eligible as I am?
How can I but, as here, chanting, invite you for yourself to collect bouquets of the incomparable feuillage of these States?


1. This typographical error ("hese" instead of "These") appears in the original. [back]


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