July Reading:

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Published in 1855, Walt Whitman reworked his masterpiece throughout his life. When Whitman died in 1892, the volume had developed from twelve poems to over 400.

Whitman wrote in the original preface: “The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.”

Long, Too Long America

Long, too long America,

Traveling roads all even and peaceful you learn’d from joys and prosperity only,

But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish, advancing, grappling with direst fate and recoiling not,

And now to conceive and show to the world what your children en-masse really are,

(For who except myself has yet conceiv’d what your children en-masse really are?)

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