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Review of Drum-Taps

WALT. WHITMAN'S DRUM TAPS 12mo. New-York. 1865.

Mr. WHITMAN has strong aspirations toward poetry, but he is wanting entirely in the qualities that PRAED 1 possessed in such large measure. He has no ear, no sense of the melody of verse. His poems only differ from prose in the lines being cut into length, instead of continuously pointed. As prose, they must be gauged by the sense they contain, the mechanism of verse being either despised by, or out of the reach of the writer. Considered as prose, then, we find in them a poverty of thought, paraded forth with a hubbub of stray words, and accompanied with a vehement self-assertion in the author, that betrays an absence of true and calm confidence in himself and his impulses. Mr. WHITMAN has fortunately better claims on the gratitude of his countrymen than any he will ever derive from his vocation as a poet. What a man does, is of far greater consequence than what he says or prints, and his devotion to the most painful of duties in the hospitals at Washington during the war, will confer honor on his memory when Leaves of Grass are withered and Drum Taps have ceased to vibrate.


1. Winthrop Mackworth Praed (1802-1839) was a British poet and politician. [back]

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