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Articles > Poetry > Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass

By Gary R. Hess. Category: Poetry

Leaves of Grass is seen as one of
the greatest collections of poetry of all time. The collection holds
an astounding 389 poems over 35 separate "books". It contains poems on love, patriotism, the sea, and yes, even homosexuality.

Walt Whitman wrote Leaves of
throughout his lifetime, serving upwards of nine
separate editions--to give an idea of how much the collection was
updated, the first edition included just twelve poems.

The poetry was seen as offensive and
disturbing but also as the first to show the virtues and vices of the
United States. In fact, Whitman was even fired from his job with the
Department of Interior for the works being so offensive. Fellow poet
John Greenleaf Whittier is said to have set the book ablaze while
critics called the book a pile of filth. There were also several
attempts at censoring Leaves of Grass.

Not all critics loathed Whitman's
writings, however. William Michael Rossetti, for example, called the
book an instant classic and compared Whitman it to the likes of
William Shakespeare.

No matter what the critics thought,
blue collar America loved Leaves of Grass and
still do today.

List of poems in Leaves of

Book I. Inscriptions

One's-Self I Sing
As I Ponder'd in Silence
In Cabin'd Ships at Sea
To Foreign Lands
To a Historian
To Thee Old Cause
For Him I Sing
When I Read the Book
Beginning My Studies
To the States
On Journeys Through the States
To a Certain Cantatrice
Me Imperturbe
The Ship Starting
I Hear America Singing
What Place Is Besieged?
Still Though the One I Sing
Shut Not Your Doors
Poets to Come
To You

Book II.

Thou Reader
Starting from Paumanok

Book III.

Song of Myself

Book IV. Children of Adam

To the Garden the World
From Pent-Up Aching Rivers
I Sing the Body Electric
A Woman Waits for Me
Spontaneous Me
One Hour to Madness and Joy
Out of the Rolling Ocean the Crowd
Ages and Ages Returning at Intervals
We Two, How Long We Were Fool'd
O Hymen! O Hymenee!
I Am He That Aches with Love
Native Moments
Once I Pass'd Through a Populous City
I Heard You Solemn-Sweet Pipes of the
Facing West from California's Shores
As Adam Early in the Morning

Book V. Calamus

In Paths Untrodden
Scented Herbage of My Breast
Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand
For You, O Democracy
These I Singing in Spring
Not Heaving from My Ribb'd Breast Only
Of the Terrible Doubt of Appearances
The Base of All Metaphysics
Recorders Ages Hence
When I Heard at the Close of the Day
Are You the New Person Drawn Toward Me?
Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone
Not Heat Flames Up and Consumes
Trickle Drops
City of Orgies
Behold This Swarthy Face
I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing
To a Stranger
This Moment Yearning and Thoughtful
I Hear It Was Charged Against Me
The Prairie-Grass Dividing
When I Persue the Conquer'd Fame
We Two Boys Together Clinging
A Promise to California
Here the Frailest Leaves of Me
No Labor-Saving Machine
A Glimpse
A Leaf for Hand in Hand
Earth, My Likeness
I Dream'd in a Dream
What Think You I Take My Pen in Hand?
To the East and to the West
Sometimes with One I Love
To a Western Boy
Fast Anchor'd Eternal O Love!
Among the Multitude
O You Whom I Often and Silently Come
That Shadow My Likeness
Full of Life Now

Book VI.

Salut au Monde!

Book VII.

Song of the Open Road

Book VIII.

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

Book IX.

Song of the Answerer

Book X.

Our Old Feuillage

Book XI.

A Song of Joys

Book XII.

Song of the Broad-Axe

Book XIII.

Song of the Exposition

Book XIV.

Song of the Redwood-Tree

Book XV.

A Song for Occupations

Book XVI.

A Song of the Rolling Earth
Youth, Day, Old Age and Night

Book XVII. Birds of Passage

Song of the Universal
Pioneers! O Pioneers!
To You
France [the 18th Year of these States]
Myself and Mine
Year of Meteors [1859-60]
With Antecedents


A Broadway Pageant

Book XIX. Sea-Drift

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life Tears
To the Man-of-War-Bird
Aboard at a Ship's Helm
On the Beach at Night
The World below the Brine
On the Beach at Night Alone
Song for All Seas, All Ships
Patroling Barnegat
After the Sea-Ship

Book XX. By the Roadside

A Boston Ballad [1854]
Europe [The 72d and 73d Years of These
A Hand-Mirror
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
O Me! O Life!
To a President
I Sit and Look Out
To Rich Givers
The Dalliance of the Eagles
Roaming in Thought [After reading
A Farm Picture
A Child's Amaze
The Runner
Beautiful Women
Mother and Babe
Gliding O'er all
Hast Never Come to Thee an Hour
To Old Age
Locations and Times
To The States [To Identify the 16th,
17th, or 18th Presidentiad]

Book XXI. Drum-Taps

First O Songs for a Prelude
Eighteen Sixty-One
Beat! Beat! Drums!
From Paumanok Starting I Fly Like a
Song of the Banner at Daybreak
Rise O Days from Your Fathomless Deeps
Virginia--The West
City of Ships
The Centenarian's Story
Cavalry Crossing a Ford
Bivouac on a Mountain Side
An Army Corps on the March
By the Bivouac's Fitful Flame
Come Up from the Fields Father
Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One
A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest, and
the Road Unknown
A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray
and Dim
As Toilsome I Wander'd Virginia's Woods
Not the Pilot
Year That Trembled and Reel'd Beneath
The Wound-Dresser
Long, Too Long America
Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun
Dirge for Two Veterans
Over the Carnage Rose Prophetic a Voice
I Saw Old General at Bay
The Artilleryman's Vision
Ethiopia Saluting the Colors
Not Youth Pertains to Me
Race of Veterans
World Take Good Notice
O Tan-Faced Prairie-Boy
Look Down Fair Moon
How Solemn As One by One [Washington
City, 1865]
As I Lay with My Head in Your Lap
Delicate Cluster
To a Certain Civilian
Lo, Victress on the Peaks
Spirit Whose Work Is Done [Washington
City, 1865]
Adieu to a Soldier
Turn O Libertad
To the Leaven'd Soil They Trod

Book XXII. Memories of President Lincoln

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd
O Captain! My Captain!
Hush'd Be the Camps To-Day [May 4,
This Dust Was Once the Man


By Blue Ontario's Shore

Book XXIV. Autumn Rivulets

As Consequent, Etc.
The Return of the Heroes
There Was a Child Went Forth
Old Ireland
The City Dead-House
This Compost
To a Foil'd European Revolutionaire
Unnamed Land
Song of Prudence
The Singer in the Prison
Warble for Lilac-Time
Outlines for a Tomb [G. P., Buried
Out from Behind This Mask [To Confront
a Portrait]
To Him That Was Crucified
You Felons on Trial in Courts
Laws for Creations
To a Common Prostitute
I Was Looking a Long While
Sparkles from the Wheel
To a Pupil
Unfolded out of the Folds
What Am I After All
Others May Praise What They Like
Who Learns My Lesson Complete?
The Torch
O Star of France [1870-71]
The Ox-Tamer
An Old Man's Thought of School
Wandering at Morn
Italian Music in Dakota
With All Thy Gifts
My Picture-Gallery
The Prairie States

Book XXV.

Proud Music of the Storm

Book XXVI.

Passage to India


Prayer of Columbus


The Sleepers

Book XXIX.

To Think of Time

Book XXX. Whispers of Heavenly Death

Darest Thou Now O Soul
Whispers of Heavenly Death
Chanting the Square Deific
Of Him I Love Day and Night
Yet, Yet, Ye Downcast Hours
As If a Phantom Caress'd Me
Quicksand Years
That Music Always Round Me
What Ship Puzzled at Sea
A Noiseless Patient Spider
O Living Always, Always Dying
To One Shortly to Die
Night on the Prairies
The Last Invocation
As I Watch the Ploughman Ploughing
Pensive and Faltering

Book XXXI.

Thou Mother with Thy Equal Brood
A Paumanok Picture

Book XXXII. From Noon to Starry Night

Thou Orb Aloft Full-Dazzling
The Mystic Trumpeter
To a Locomotive in Winter
O Magnet-South
All Is Truth
A Riddle Song
Ah Poverties, Wincings, and Sulky
Weave in, My Hardy Life
Spain, 1873-74
By Broad Potomac's Shore
From Far Dakota's Canyons [June 25,
Old War-Dreams
Thick-Sprinkled Bunting
What Best I See in Thee
Spirit That Form'd This Scene
As I Walk These Broad Majestic Days
A Clear Midnight

Book XXXIII. Songs of Parting

As the Time Draws Nigh
Years of the Modern
Ashes of Soldiers
Song at Sunset
As at Thy Portals Also Death
My Legacy
Pensive on Her Dead Gazing
Camps of Green
The Sobbing of the Bells [Midnight,
Sept. 19-20, 1881]
As They Draw to a Close
Joy, Shipmate, Joy!
The Untold Want
These Carols
Now Finale to the Shore
So Long!

Book XXXIV. Sands at Seventy

From Montauk Point
To Those Who've Fail'd
A Carol Closing Sixty-Nine
The Bravest Soldiers
A Font of Type
As I Sit Writing Here
My Canary Bird
Queries to My Seventieth Year
The Wallabout Martyrs
The First Dandelion
To-Day and Thee
After the Dazzle of Day
Abraham Lincoln, Born Feb. 12, 1809
Out of May's Shows Selected
Halcyon Days

Fancies at Navesink

[I] The Pilot in the Mist
[II] Had I the Choice
[III] You Tides with Ceaseless Swell
[IV] Last of Ebb, and Daylight Waning
[V] And Yet Not You Alone
[VI] Proudly the Flood Comes In
[VII] By That Long Scan of Waves
[VIII] Then Last of All
Election Day, November, 1884
With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea!
Death of General Grant
Red Jacket
Washington's Monument February, 1885
Of That Blithe Throat of Thine
To Get the Final Lilt of Songs
Old Salt Kossabone
The Dead Tenor
"Going Somewhere"
Small the Theme of My Chant
True Conquerors
The United States to Old World Critics
The Calming Thought of All
Thanks in Old Age
Life and Death
The Voice of the Rain
Soon Shall the Winter's Foil Be Here
While Not the Past Forgetting
The Dying Veteran
Stronger Lessons
A Prairie Sunset
Twenty Years
Orange Buds by Mail from Florida
You Lingering Sparse Leaves of Me
Not Meagre, Latent Boughs Alone
The Dead Emperor
As the Greek's Signal Flame
The Dismantled Ship
Now Precedent Songs, Farewell
An Evening Lull
Old Age's Lambent Peaks
After the Supper and Talk

Book XXXV. Good-Bye My Fancy

Sail out for Good, Eidolon Yacht!
Lingering Last Drops
Good-Bye My Fancy
On, on the Same, Ye Jocund Twain!
MY 71st Year
The Pallid Wreath
An Ended Day
Old Age's Ship & Crafty Death's
To the Pending Year
Shakspere-Bacon's Cipher
Long, Long Hence
Bravo, Paris Exposition!
Interpolation Sounds
To the Sun-Set Breeze
Old Chants
A Christmas Greeting
Sounds of the Winter
A Twilight Song
When the Full-Grown Poet Came
A Voice from Death
A Persian Lesson
The Commonplace
"The Rounded Catalogue Divine
L. of G.'s Purport
The Unexpress'd
Grand Is the Seen
Unseen Buds
Good-Bye My Fancy!

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