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What Is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life

What Is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life by Mark Doty 0393070220 9780393070224
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Mark Doty has always felt haunted by Walt Whitmans bold, perennially new American voice, and by his equally radical claims about body and soul and what it means to be a self. In What Is the Grass, Doty--a poet, a New Yorker, and an American--keeps company with Whitman and his Leaves of Grass, tracing the resonances between his own experience and the legendary poets life and work.

What is it then between us? Whitman asks. In search of an answer, Doty explores spaces--both external and internal--where he finds the poets ghost. He meditates on desire, love, and the mysterious wellsprings of the poets enduring work: a radical experience of transformation and enlightenment, queer sexuality, and an obsession with death, as well as unabashed love for a great city and for the fresh, rowdy character of American speech. In riveting close readings threaded with personal memoir and illuminated by awe, Doty reveals the power of Whitmans persistent presence in his life and in the American imagination at large.

How does a voice survive death? What Is the Grass is a conversation across time and space, a study of the astonishment one poet finds in the accomplishment of another, and an attempt to grasp Whitmans deeply hopeful vision of human possibility.

Author: Mark Doty

Language: English

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 288

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Publication Date: 2020-04-14

Our Price: $7.95

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ISBN: 0393070220


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Mark Doty  Hardcover

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