Thursday 25 June 2015

Whitman's Project

Lawrence Kramer believes Walt Whitman was wrong to absorb his stand-alone collection Drum Taps—a raw look at the U.S. Civil War— into his ground-breaking opus Leaves of Grass. Reviewing Kramer's reissue of the lost collection, Jack Hanson disagrees:
Perhaps the cause for the new-found solemnity is not a deflation of the spirit, but rather the emergence of a more complex poetic landscape in Whitman’s oeuvre that is deeper, more coherent, and even more inclusive than many champions of his work realize. In this scenario, Whitman’s rearrangement of Drum Taps, and his inclusion of it in subsequent editions of Leaves of Grass, is no denial of the darkness, but instead an embrace of it as an essential part of his poetic project.

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