Walt Whitman Reads “America”: The Only Surviving Recording of the Beloved Poet’s Voice

 

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman is celebrated as the father of free verse and revered as one of the most influential voices in American literature. A century after his death, a serendipitous discovery surfaced a tape-recording of what is likely an 1889 or 1890 wax-cylinder recording of Walt Whitman reading his late poem “America,” an 1888 addition to his continuously revised 1855 poetry collection Leaves of Grass (public library; public domain). Though the origin and authenticity of the tape, preserved by The Walt Whitman Archive, has been debated, it is currently believed to be the only surviving recording of the beloved poet’s voice. What makes it all the more special is that the poem itself rings with particularly timely resonance as we celebrate a long overdue step towards equality for all in America.

Enjoy: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/07/04/walt-whitman-reads-america-recording/

 

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