Worshipping Walt is the first book on the Whitman disciples--the fascinating, eclectic group of nineteenth-century men and women who regarded Walt Whitman not simply as a poet but as a religious prophet.
In "Three American Poets," William C. Spengemann describes the very different sorts of poetry Whitman, Dickinson, and Melville wrote, their comparable reasons for writing as they did, and the posthumous critical effects of their having done so. By linking these utterly singular poets and their work--verse connected by shared qualities of oddity, complexity, and difficulty--Spengemann illuminates the poets' efforts to create verse equal to the demands of a changing nineteenth century.
First published to wide critical acclaim in 1981, revised and expanded in 1998, and now re-issued as a corrected second edition (2014), this monumental anthology charts the ongoing American and international response to the legacy of the seminal poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892).
In his poetry Walt Whitman set out to encompass all of America and in so doing heal its deepening divisions. This magisterial biography demonstrates the epic scale of his achievement, as well as the dreams and anxieties that impelled it, for it places the poet securely within the political and cultural context of his age.