Walt Whitman was a poetic Visionary. He published the first edition of this monumental work in 1855 and began his magnum opus with the words, America does t repel the past of what it has produced. He asserted in his declaration: America is essentially the greatest poem. And he qualified this remark by stating that the genius of the United States, that which is at the core, the essence of the poem of America, is always most in the common people. Whitman wrote for and about the common people, and wanted his work to somehow bring about a political renewal that would truly represent the grand Idea of democracy. In this book Whitman overturns centuries of Western political and social thought. Whitman's democratic vision was something so unprecedented in so many ways that his reception at first could be characterized as utter incomprehension. It is believed that only a couple hundred people, at most, read the original 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass and many of these readers did t kw what to make of the book. Some people were completely outraged and offended. Others were enraptured. Whitman was the self appointed poet-prophet of America and created, where he saw a lack, a new democratic religious understanding for the modern world.
Walt Whitman was is perhaps the most important poet in American history. He remains a poetic visionary with unrivaled insight into the human condition. The Complete 1891-92 Edition is his final collection of his life's work and it will forever remain one of the most important books ever written. J. M. Beach is a lecturer at the University of Texas, San Antonio. He has advanced degrees in English, History, Philosophy, and Education. He has been a teacher and educational administrator for over fifteen years. Beach has taught many subjects in the Humanities to a broad range of students, from pre-school all the way to university, in public and private schools, in the U.S., South Korea, and China. Previously Beach was a Lecturer at Oregon State University, the University of California, and at several community colleges in Southern California and Central Texas. Beach's scholarly research focuses on several distinct, but interrelated subjects: The philosophy of knowledge, the science of culture and social institutions, the history and philosophy of education, and literature. Beach is also a published poet. Links to his books, articles, and conference papers can be found at his website at www.jmbeach.com. Follow his blogs at jmbeach.blogspot.com and 21stcenturycanon.blogspot.com