Excerpt from Walt Whitman's Poetry: A Study A Selection Bsay Simultaneously, fascinated and repelled. Had Whitman been a lesser man, I should have read his poetry, admired its beauties, laughed at its eccentricities, shuddered at its crudities, and then laid the book aside and gone on to something else. But the very fact that his per sonality seemed to be ever wrestling with and striving to impose itself upon mine, made me determine at all costs to understand him, to discover the secret sources of his poetry, to wrest from him the key to his heart and mind. There are many ways in which we may set to work to interpret an author in whom we happen to be interested. The best way is, I think, to study his writings, half-attentively, half-broodingly, until some of the more salient of their characteristics have detached themselves from the rest and impressed themselves strongly on our minds, - such characteristics, let us say, as are bound to disclose themselves, sooner or later, to every thoughtful reader. Using these as our base of operations, we may then advance inferentially into the unkwn country which we wish to explore, taking care to secure our communications as we proceed, by verifying from our author's writings every conclusion that we reach. We must beware (let me say in passing) of allowing ourselves to be deluded by the semblance of logic which our work ofresearch will inevitably wear. The movement of a poet's thought and feeling is always more or less circular, its starting-post and its goal being that primary attitude towards things-in general which constitutes his idiosyncrasy in the region of his inner life. The different characteristics of his mind, so far as it reveals itself in his poetry, are all vitally interconnected; and though we find it convenient and even necessary to regard one of these as cause and others as effects, we kw well eugh (or at any rate we ought to kw) that this is a mere matter of tation, and that what we are really trying to do is to Show that a secret and quasi organic logic gives unity and coherence to the whole of the poet's work. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.