American Literature

Walt Whitman's Selected Poems

For class, I will expect you to read "Song of Myself" and any three other works

Song of Myself - Given the length of this poem, this page actually contains excerpts from the whole work.

Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Rocking - longer poem, but among his most beautiful nature poems

The Prairie Grass Dividing - short nature based poem, but of special interest to Nebraskans and prairie dwellers

Good-Bye My Fancy! - a good example that Whitman didn't ALWAYS write long poems -- compare this poem to Dickinson's treatment of death on a personal level.

Beat! Beat! Drums! - an example of how the Civil War affected Whitman, as well as an example that he COULD write poetry using more conventional methods and styles, he just usually chose NOT to.

There Was a Child Went Forth - poem that reflects Whitman's main themes

I Sing the Body Electric - Longer poem, and a good example of how Whitman got his early reputation for being vulgar, if not pornographic.