Leaves of Grass 3: Starting from Paumanok
Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Though the first edition was published in 1855, Whitman spent his entire life writing and re-writing Leaves of Grass, revising it in several editions until his death. This resulted in vastly different editions over four decades—the first a small book of twelve poems and the last a compilation of over 400 poems. The poems of Leaves of Grass are loosely connected and each represents Whitman's celebration of his philosophy of life and humanity. (From Wikipedia)
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Starting from Paumanok
Paumanok is the Native American name for Long Island, New York, where Whitman is from. This poem is his literary manifesto, an elaborate and complex statement of his poetic intent.
Which of these is a place Whitman does NOT mention being in stanza 1?
Why do you think Whitman uses Spanish words here?
When Whitman says "take my leaves" here he is likely talking about the leaves of paper he writes on… his poetry, his words. Incidentally, the title of this book, "Leaves of Grass," is a pun. "Grass" was a term given by publishers to works of minor value and "leaves" is another name for the pages on which they were printed.
These lines exemplify what made Whitman's poems different from those that preceeded him: the representation of the body. For Whitman, spiritual communion depended on physical contact. The body is the vessel that enables the soul to experience the world.
Comity specifically refers to legal reciprocity—the principle that one jurisdiction will extend certain courtesies to another.
Abraham Lincoln was president at the time Whitman was writing.
This line highlights the _______________ element of Whitman's work.
Which of the following statements summarizes what Whitman says about evil here?
Here Whitman means there is something else besides ________________.
These lines exemplify an ongoing theme in the book that it's not merely the people alive now but also those past and, particularly, those in the future to whom Whitman sings.
Though now this is a commonly accepted sentiment, at the time when Whitman was writing, this was a pretty radical idea!
What underlying belief of Whitman's do these lines expound?
As you'll discover as you continue to read, Walt Whitman loves lists. Lists are a way for him to bring together a wide variety of items without imposing a hierarchy on them. The literary device that typically denotes a list is anaphora. Notice the highlighted text includes a list of American settings, and uses the repetition of "Land of" as an anaphora to link them together.
This line constitutes which of the following?
Using context clues, you can deduce that the red aborigines are probably
Starting From Paumanok Quiz