By Walter Lowenfels
In 1863 Walt Whitman first proposed to the writer John Redpath a publication approximately his Civil conflict stories. It was once by no means released. yet in a draft prospectus Whitman defined ”a new ebook . . . with its framework jotted down at the battlefield, within the safeguard tent, through the wayside amid the rubble of passing artillery trains or the relocating cavalry within the streets of Washington . . . a publication choked with the blood and energy of the yank people.” Walter Lowenfels has edited the booklet Whitman may well merely envision. From a mosaic of materials—newspaper dispatches, letters, notebooks, released and unpublished works—as good as thirty-six of Whitman’s nice warfare poems, Lowenfels has created an exhilarating and special record. 16 pages of drawings via Winslow Homer, one other distinctive eyewitness, are reproduced right here from the artist’s box sketches. the result's a ebook that produces within the reader precisely what Whitman had was hoping, person who captures ”part of the particular distraction, warmth, smoke, and pleasure of these times.”
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Additional info for Walt Whitman's Civil War (A Da Capo Paperback)
And sullen hymns of defeat? | Go to Contents | The Wound-Dresser 1 An old man bending I come among new faces, Years looking backward resuming in answer to children, Come tell us, old man, as from young men and maidens that love me, (Arous'd and angry, I'd thought to beat the alarum, and urge relentless war, But soon my fingers fail'd me, my face droop'd and I resign'd myself, To sit by the wounded and soothe them, or silently watch the dead;) Years hence of these scenes, of these furious passions, these chances, Of unsurpass'd heroes (was one side so brave?
O banner so broad, with stripes, I sing you only, Flapping up there in the wind. | Go to Contents | Rise, O Days, from Your Fathomless Deeps 1 Rise, O days, from your fathomless deeps, till you loftier, fiercer sweep, Long for my soul hungering gymnastic I devour'd what the earth gave me, Long I roam'd the woods of the north, long I watch'd Niagara pouring, I travell'd the prairies over and slept on their breast, I cross'd the Nevadas, I cross'd the plateaus, I ascended the towering rocks along the Pacific, I sail'd out to sea, I sail'd through the storm, I was refresh'd by the storm, I watch'd with joy the threatening maws of the waves, I mark'd the white combs where they career'd so high, curling over, I heard the wind piping, I saw the black clouds, Saw from below what arose and mounted (O superb!
But in silence, in dreams' projections, While the world of gain and appearance and mirth goes on, So soon what is over forgotten, and waves wash the imprints off the sand, With hinged knees returning I enter the doors (while for you up there, Whoever you are, follow without noise and be of strong heart). Bearing the bandages, water and sponge, Straight and swift to my wounded I go, Where they lie on the ground after the battle brought in, Where their priceless blood reddens the grass, the ground, Or to the rows of the hospital tent, or under the roof'd hospital, To the long rows of cots up and down each side I return, To each and all one after another I draw near, not one do I miss, An attendant follows holding a tray, he carries a refuse pail, Soon to be fill'd with clotted rags and blood, emptied, and fill'd again.