Walt Whitman's elegaic celebration of his beloved America, as seen as microcosm and macrocosm, was published in the run-up to the Civil War. As politicians and regular citizens alike argued over policies, courses of action and which party leaders most resembled Hitler (back then he was called "King George"), Whitman released Leaves of Grass
as a voice of wonder into the tumult. "Look around you at the splendor of this world," Whitman's poems said. "We are better than how we're behaving." In the spirit of Whitman, local scholars and poets celebrate the publication of the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass
by reading aloud their favorite selections at 4 p.m. at Left Bank Books Central West End store (399 North Euclid Avenue). Admission is free.
Sat., April 17, 2010