Skip to main content

Review of Two Rivulets

TWO RIVULETS; including Democratic Vistas, Centennial Songs, and Passage to India. Author's Edition, Camden, New Jersey, 1876.

This is a book which thousands will read with intense interest, and tens of thousands throw down in sheer disgust. The former will be such persons as can look beneath the surface, and discern true worth under the most uncouth garb; the latter those who are content to follow the fashion, and take their opinions of poets and philosophers, as they do of bodily costume, from others. Walt Whitman's poetry is like no other that ever was written—boldly conceived, bluntly expressed, purely American yet cosmopolitan—not in the least conventional—uncramped by regular metre—disdaining to be scanned by conceited pedagogues—semi-savage yet most humane—Cyclopean in form and effect. In the book before us, his peculiar powers are exhibited in all their innate force, and the prose part is quite as original and interesting as the poetical part. There is a strange fascination about the whole, to such as are susceptible of feelings unstamped with the seal and signature of admitted authority. All others will, as we have said, declare the writer a bore, but for that there is no help. The deficiency is in them, not in him.

Back to top