Heres a virtual movie of the great Walt Whitman reading probably his most iconic poem "I Believe a Leaf of Grass" from "Song of Myself" first published in the 1855 edition of "Leaves of Grass"

"Song of Myself" is a poem by Walt Whitman that is included in his work Leaves of Grass. It has been credited as "representing the core of Whitman's poetic vision."

The poem was first published without sections[2] as the first of twelve untitled poems in the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass. The first edition was published by Whitman at his own expense.
In the second (1856) edition, Whitman used the title "Poem of Walt Whitman, an American," which was shortened to "Walt Whitman" for the third (1860) edition.[1]
The poem was divided into fifty-two numbered sections for the fourth (1867) edition and finally took on the title "Song of Myself" in the last edition (1881-2).

Following its 1855 publication, "Song of Myself" was immediately singled out by critics and readers for particular attention, and today, remains among the most acclaimed and influential poems written by an American.[3]
In 1855, the Christian Spiritualist gave a long, glowing review of "Song of Myself," praising Whitman for representing "a new poetic mediumship," which through active imagination sensed the "influx of spirit and the divine breath."[4]Ralph Waldo Emerson also wrote a letter to Whitman, praising his work for its "wit and wisdom."[1]
Public acceptance was slow in coming, however. Social conservatives denounced the poem as flouting accepted norms of morality due to its blatant depictions of human sexuality. In 1882, Boston district attorney threatened action against Leaves of Grass for violating the state's obscenity laws and demanded that changes be made to several passages from "Song of Myself.

Walter "Walt" Whitman (May 31, 1819 -- March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.[1] His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality.

Kind Regards

Jim Clark
All rights are reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2013

PLEASE NOTE - The image used in this animation is a modern artists of impression of Walt Whitman and is not to my knowledge a copyrighted image please write to me if you have bonafide information to the contrary. at my email address of

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