Leaves of Grass


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.7 stars; 24 reviews)

American poet Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, is a collection of poems notable for its frank delight in and praise of the senses, during a time when such candid displays were considered immoral. Where much previous poetry, especially English, relied on symbolism, allegory, and meditation on the religious and spiritual, Leaves of Grass exalted the body and the material world.

Whitman was inspired to begin Leaves of Grass after reading an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson which expressed a need for a uniquely American poet. When the book was first published, Whitman sent a copy to Emerson, whose praiseful letter of response helped launch the book to success. Whitman’s hero, Abraham Lincoln, read and enjoyed an early version of Leaves of Grass. Despite such high recommendations, Whitman faced charges of obscenity and immorality for his work, but this only led to increased popularity of the book.

Whitman continually revised and republished Leaves of Grass throughout his lifetime, notably adding the “Drum-Taps” section after Lincoln’s assassination. The book grew from 12 poems in its first publication, which Whitman paid for and typeset himself, to nearly 400 poems in its final, “Death Bed Edition.” This recording is of the final edition. (Summary adapted from wikipedia.org by Annie Coleman)

(19 hr 16 min)

Chapters

Book 1 29:58 Read by Gord Mackenzie
Book 2 33:49 Read by Hugh McGuire
Book 3, Part 1 30:00 Read by Gord Mackenzie
Book 3, Part 2 43:38 Read by Gord Mackenzie
Book 3, Part 3 46:45 Read by Gord Mackenzie
Book 3, Part 4 37:50 Read by Gord Mackenzie
Book 4 50:23 Read by Kara Shallenberg
Book 5 46:16 Read by Chris Mitchell
Books 6-7 50:46 Read by Chris Mitchell
Books 8-10 41:11 Read by Chris Mitchell
Books 11-12 45:23 Read by Chris Mitchell
Book 13 20:52 Read by Eric
Book 14 10:34 Read by Eric
Book 15 24:34 Read by Gord Mackenzie
Book 16 15:16 Read by Brett Shand
Book 17 31:14 Read by Hugh McGuire
Book 18 9:57 Read by Hugh McGuire
Book 19 48:17 Read by Gord Mackenzie
Book 20 23:45 Read by Hugh McGuire
Book 21, Part 1 41:27 Read by Kara Shallenberg
Book 21, Part 2 46:55 Read by Kara Shallenberg
Book 22 15:21 Read by wedschild
Book 23 35:27 Read by Annie Coleman Rothenberg
Book 24, Part 1 48:33 Read by Annie Coleman Rothenberg
Book 24, Part 2 44:20 Read by Annie Coleman Rothenberg
Book 25 13:06 Read by Hugh McGuire
Book 26 20:11 Read by Hugh McGuire
Books 27-28 27:58 Read by Chip
Books 29-30 40:19 Read by Chip
Book 31 14:49 Read by Chip
Book 32 50:48 Read by Chip
Book 33 38:21 Read by Denny Sayers (d. 2015)
Book 34 49:06 Read by Tom Yates
Book 35 28:49 Read by Chris Goringe

Reviews

fantastic

(5 stars)

This is a revered classic for a reason. It's beautiful, picturesque, manly, lively, vital, and utterly American. I will revisit this many times. Thank you to all of the readers. Take some time and enjoy this. Oh and it gets racy too!

Simply fabulous

(5 stars)

Beautifully read American classic.