Skip to main content

New Books


Look here, Walt Whitman, what made you write this book, these Leaves of Grass, full of good thoughts, bad thoughts, naughty thoughts, noble thoughts. Ideas politic, impolitic, incomprehensible, insane, inexpressive, impure, invigorating, infuscatable, and infoliate. Did you do it to make pennies, dimes, dollars, eagles, spondulics, rhino, That Walt Whitman—human Walt, might row, ride, riot, regale, recuperate, refocilate— At Hull, Hingham, Nahant, Newport, Rye, Niagara, Shirley, Long Island, Cohasset, Bergen Point, Cape May, or the Mountains called White? Perhaps you did, but then again perhaps you didn’t, for the didn’t is resumptive in this world. And you are anti-resumptive, reticular, responsive and restringent. You’ve made a book, it can’t be rubbed out for it is a fact. Rub out the stars, Declaration of Independence, habeas corpus, magna charta, squatter sovereignty, little Giant, old Abe. Rub out sun, moon, clouds, streams, Board of Aldermen, Japanese Embassy, lapstreak, shell, canoe, Rub out Boston Common, Battery, Girard College, Old Man of the Mountain, Franklin street, horse railroads, Baltimore Convention, But rub out Leaves of Grass—456 pages, electro-typed, beautiful print, fine type, elegant binding, seemly, comely, white paper—published by Thayer & Eldridge,—it cannot be did.
Back to top