Walt Whitman is widely regarded as America's most important poet. His revolutionary poetic style influenced every American poet who came after him, and his generous spirit and love for America have made him a favorite among high school and college English teachers. Nearly all of Walt Whitman's poems were published in Leaves of Grass, which he obsessively expanded, edited, and republished until he died.
Critical Companion to Walt Whitman contains entries on every one of Whitman's poems, from the widely recognized "Song of Myself," "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd," and "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," to his minor works. His major prose works, such as A Backward Glance O’er Travel’d Roads and Democratic Vistas, each edition of Leaves of Grass, and unique terms used or coined by Whitman, such as "Eidólons" and "Paumanok," are also covered. Helping readers understand the influences on his life are entries on Whitman’s family, friends, relatives, and acquaintances, as well as important places where he lived and worked and ideas important to his work. An essential reference guide, this single-volume addition to the Critical Companion series delivers a wealth of information on the life and works of this great American author.
Additional features include a chronology, bibliographies of primary and secondary sources, a list of publications Whitman wrote for, a glossary of terms unique to his poetry, a genealogy, and more.
- A detailed discussion of Whitman's life
- Entries on all his published poems, works of fiction, and major essays
- Detailed analysis of all his most famous and important poems
- Biographical information on important figures in his life, including family and friends, influences, critics, and more
- Entries on important places, publications, historical events and figures, and other topics.