Walt Whitman's Civil War (A Da Capo Paperback) by Walter Lowenfels

By Walter Lowenfels

In 1863 Walt Whitman first proposed to the writer John Redpath a e-book approximately his Civil struggle studies. It was once by no means released. yet in a draft prospectus Whitman defined ”a new booklet . . . with its framework jotted down at the battlefield, within the take care of tent, via the wayside amid the rubble of passing artillery trains or the relocating cavalry within the streets of Washington . . . a publication choked with the blood and energy of the yank people.” Walter Lowenfels has edited the e-book Whitman might simply envision. From a mosaic of materials—newspaper dispatches, letters, notebooks, released and unpublished works—as good as thirty-six of Whitman’s nice battle poems, Lowenfels has created an exciting and exact record. 16 pages of drawings by way of Winslow Homer, one other special eyewitness, are reproduced the following from the artist’s box sketches. the result's a e-book that produces within the reader precisely what Whitman had was hoping, one who captures ”part of the particular distraction, warmth, smoke, and pleasure of these times.”

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Example text

But in silence, in dreams' projections, While the world of gain and appearance and mirth goes on, So soon what is over forgotten, and waves wash the imprints off the sand, With hinged knees returning I enter the doors (while for you up there, Whoever you are, follow without noise and be of strong heart). Bearing the bandages, water and sponge, Straight and swift to my wounded I go, Where they lie on the ground after the battle brought in, Where their priceless blood reddens the grass, the ground, Or to the rows of the hospital tent, or under the roof'd hospital, To the long rows of cots up and down each side I return, To each and all one after another I draw near, not one do I miss, An attendant follows holding a tray, he carries a refuse pail, Soon to be fill'd with clotted rags and blood, emptied, and fill'd again.

Bugles! blow! Make no parley--stop for no expostulation, Mind not the timid--mind not the weeper or prayer, Mind not the old man beseeching the young man, Let not the child's voice be heard, nor the mother's entreaties, Make even the trestles to shake the dead where they lie awaiting the hearses, So strong you thump, O terrible drums--so loud you bugles blow. | Go to Contents | From Paumanok Starting I Fly Like a Bird From Paumanok starting I fly like a bird, Around and around to soar to sing the idea of all, To the north betaking myself to sing there arctic songs, To Kanada till I absorb Kanada in myself, to Michigan then, To Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, to sing their songs (they are inimitable); Then to Ohio and Indiana to sing theirs, to Missouri and Kansas and Arkansas to sing theirs, To Tennessee and Kentucky, to the Carolinas and Georgia to sing theirs, To Texas and so along up toward California, to roam accepted everywhere; To sing first (to the tap of the war-drum if need be), The idea of all, of the Western world one and inseparable, And then the song of each member of these States.

It shall be customary in the houses and streets to see manly affection, The most dauntless and rude shall touch face to face lightly, The dependence of Liberty shall be lovers, The continuance of Equality shall be comrades. These shall tie you and band you stronger than hoops of iron, I, ecstatic, O partners! O lands! with the love of lovers tie you. (Were you looking to be held together by lawyers? Or by an agreement on a paper? or by arms?

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