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Download Leaves of Grass Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (37,394 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Walt Whitman Narrator: Mel Foste Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Abraham Lincoln read it with approval, but Emily Dickinson described its bold language and themes as “disgraceful.” Ralph Waldo Emerson found Leaves of Grass “the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed,” calling it a “combination of the Bhagavad Gita and the New York Herald.” Published at the author’s own expense on July 4, 1855, Leaves of Grass initially consisted of a preface, twelve untitled poems in free verse (including the work later titled “Song of Myself,” which Malcolm Cowley called “one of the great poems of modern times”), and a now-famous portrait of a devil-may-care Walt Whitman in a workman’s shirt. Over the next four decades, Whitman continually expanded and revised the book as he took on the role of a workingman’s bard who championed American nationalism, political democracy, contemporary progress, and unashamed sex.

This volume, which contains 383 poems, is the final “Deathbed Edition,” which was published in 1892.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Amy Drew | 2/20/2014

    " "song of myself." need I say more? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Colleen | 2/14/2014

    " sometimes extremely repetative and seems like he just likes to list things. If it was not for the exert in the beginning I am not sure I would have understood much of what he was writing. I feel like just as i was starting to understand the poem and where he was going, it took a different turn and then i was lost all over again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Amanda | 2/9/2014

    " Comfort food reading. One of those books that I'm often picking up just to read a few pages, a few dozen or only a passage. Enlightening and nourishing for the soul. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Deborah | 2/8/2014

    " Walt has been with me all my life. I notice the tiniest things in nature because of him. My view of democracy was shaped by him. He always addressed his readers, and that makes me smile. "

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About the Author
Author Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was the son of a carpenter. His formal schooling ended at age eleven, when he was apprenticed to a printer in Brooklyn. He spent the next two decades as a printer, freelance writer, and editor in New York. In 1855, at his own expense, he published the first edition of Leaves of Grass, which would mark him as the major poetic voice of an emerging America. Whitman would go on expanding and revising it for the rest of his life, with the final edition appearing in 1892, the year of his death.

About the Narrator

Mel Foster is a prolific audiobook narrator, having read dozens of titles throughout his career. He is the recipient of the prestigious Audie Award, as well as the AudioFile Earphones Award. A former advertising agency executive who used to record test tracks for commercials, his narration career was born out of encouragement from his clients who would often say, “why are we hiring someone else? I like this guy.”