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Best of the Web

Best of the Web

Websites

The Whitman Archive

This website is the best resource for photos, manuscripts, and other historical resources related to Whitman's career.

Poets.org

This website has a brief biography of Whitman, full texts of a selection of his poems, essays about Whitman, and information about historical landmarks related to him.

Video

I Hear America Singing

PBS filmed a documentary about Whitman, and prose and videos are available online.

Audio

Old-Timey Recording of Whitman

Ever wonder what Whitman's voice sounded like? (Correct answer: "All the time!")

Song of Myself

Listen to the whole poem!

Section 3

Listen to Section 3 of "Song of Myself" read aloud by poet Lucille Clifton.

Favorite Poem Project - "Song of Myself"

John Doherty, a construction worker, discusses why he loves "Song of Myself," and reads Sections 50 and 52.  This is just one video from the very cool Favorite Poem Project, which interviews a wide variety of people to learn about their favorite poems.

Robert Hass on "Song of Myself"

Listen to American poet Robert Hass discuss "Song of Myself" on NPR.

Happy Birthday, Leaves of Grass!

An NPR <em>Weekend Edition</em> episode from 2005, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of <em>Leaves of Grass</em>.

Images

Whitman Daguerreotype

This image of Whitman appeared in the first 1855 edition of <em>Leaves of Grass</em>. It's exactly how we'd picture the speaker of "Song of Myself."

Whitman Photo

A photo of the poet from the 1850s, around the time he wrote and published "Song of Myself." Nice haircut.

Historical Documents

All Editions of Leaves of Grass

An amazing resource: you can read all seven different editions of <em>Leaves of Grass</em>.

Reviews of Leaves of Grass

Early reviews of Whitman's first and most famous collection of poem from a variety of sources, including Whitman himself.

Emerson's "Self-Reliance"

An essay from the famous American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson. "Song of Myself" has strong echoes of Emerson's essay.

Books

Leaves of Grass: 150th Anniversary Edition

This beautiful edition of the original 1855 classic reproduces as closely as possible the style of Whitman's self-published collection. Check out the weird, plant-like shapes of the letters of the title.

Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography by David S. Reynolds

In our opinion, this book is the best resource for understanding "Song of Myself." That's because it gives the cultural context of America at the time, including the state of journalism, politics, and oratory.

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