In 1855 Walt Whitman published Leaves of Grass, the work that defined him as one of America s most influential voices and that he added to throughout his life. A collection of astonishing originality and intensity, it spoke of politics, sexual emancipation, and what it meant to be an American. From the joyful Song of Myself and I Sing the Body Electric to the elegiac When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom d, Whitman s art fuses oratory, journalism, and song in a vivid celebration of humanity. Containing all Whitman s known poetic work, this edition reprints the final, or deathbed, edition of Leaves of Grass (1891 92). Earlier versions of many poems are also given, including the 1855 Song of Myself.