By Charles M. Oliver
"Critical spouse to Walt Whitman" includes entries on each one of Walt Whitman's poems, from the commonly well-known "Song of Myself," "When Lilacs final within the Dooryard Bloom'd," and "Out of the Cradle perpetually Rocking," to his minor works. His significant prose works, akin to "A Backward look O'er Travel'd Roads" and "Democratic Vistas", every one version of "Leaves of Grass", and particular phrases used or coined via Whitman, comparable to "Eidolons" and "Paumanok," also are lined. aiding readers comprehend the affects on his existence are entries on Whitman's family members, associates, family members, and neighbors; very important locations the place he lived and labored; and concepts very important to his paintings. an important reference consultant, this single-volume addition to the "Critical significant other" sequence promises a wealth of knowledge at the lifestyles and works of this nice American writer.
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Men and women who understand love in the way the poet does, are easily identified. See, for an example of people who do not get the secret signs, “O You Whom I Often and Silently Come,” the next poem following this one in the “Calamus” “Angel of Tears, The” (1842) Short story, first published in the United States Magazine and Democratic Review (September 1842; see DEMOCRATIC REVIEW, THE). The tale is most accessible now in Walt Whitman: The Early Poems and the Fiction, edited by Thomas L. Brasher (New York University Press, 1963).
After the Sea-Ship” (1874) First published as “In the Wake Following” in the NEW YORK DAILY GRAPHIC as part of “A Christmas Garland in Prose and Verse” (December 25, 1874); it received its present title in the fifth edition of Leaves of Grass (1876), later it was the last of 11 poems in the “Sea-Drift” cluster for the sixth edition (1881). This is the second of two poems at the end of the “Sea-Drift” cluster, which describes objectively the sea, this one describing the wake following a “sea-ship.
The “twilight and burying ebb” tide is used in this poem as a metaphor for the despair caused by “failures, aspirations, . . ” The sea’s nighttime ebb tide reminds the poet of the great rhythm of life, from birth to death and return to the sea. (1860) Titled “Calamus No. 41” in the third edition of Leaves of Grass (1860); it received its present title (1867); it was the 36th of 39 poems in the “Calamus” cluster for the sixth edition (1881). In a “multitude” of people, the poet notices one person “among the men and women,” picking him out and making “secret and divine signs” to him, letting him know he is like him in his desire for love.