It was with this first version of "Song of Myself," from the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass, that Whitman first made himself known to the world. Readers familiar with the later, revised editions will find this first version new, surprising, and often superior to the revisions, and exhilarating in the freshness of its vision.
About the Author
One of America's most influential and innovative poets, Walt Whitman (1819–92) worked as a teacher, journalist, and volunteer nurse during the Civil War. Proclaimed as the nation's first "poet of democracy," Whitman reached out to common readers and opposed censorship with his overt celebrations of sexuality.