What Are You Willing to do to Succeed in Poetry ? Walt Whitm

Our discussion forum for topics related to writer's block, poetry, the literary arts in general, and anything else of cosmic import.
Post Reply
Message
Author
Kenneth2816
Posts: 732
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

What Are You Willing to do to Succeed in Poetry ? Walt Whitm

#1 Post by Kenneth2816 » 25 Oct 2017, 15:11

At 11, he ended formal education to become a printer's apprentice. In 1855, never once having a poem published,
he self published "Leaves of Grass" , setting the type himself to keep costs down. 792 copies comprise the print run of the first edition. Prior to publication, he sent a copy to Ralph Emerson, then the most respected American poet. Without permission, Whitman included Emerson's endorsement in the book.It was a commercial failure. Whitman was unphased. He began selling the book door-to-door, and when libraries were unwilling to pay for a copy, he gave them one.

Over the next 33 years, Whitman revised and expanded what was originally 12 untitled poems. By 1892, and on his death bed, the final version had over 400 poems.

Whitman was "banned in Boston" due to the sexual nature of some of his works. Other municipalities sued
the varying publishers, forcing them to drop the book
unless Whitman edited out the offending lines. He refused.

Branded a "sodomite"in several newspapers, Whitman never once strayed from his goal.He was terminated in 1870 over the book, and simply found another job

By 1892, he was lauded as a nation's treasure.
Half of all 20th century noted poets vote him as
a major influence. He is called the father of free verse,
And today, Leaves is considered one of the most iconic works of American poetry.

Kenneth2816
Posts: 732
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: What Are You Willing to do to Succeed in Poetry ? Walt W

#2 Post by Kenneth2816 » 25 Oct 2017, 17:07

[quote="Kenneth2816"]At 11, he ended formal education to become a printer's apprentice. In 1855, never once having a poem published,
he self published "Leaves of Grass" , setting the type himself to keep costs down. 792 copies comprise the print run of the first edition. Prior to publication, he sent a copy to Ralph Emerson, then the most respected American poet. Without permission, Whitman included Emerson's endorsement in the book.It was a commercial failure. Whitman was unphased. He began selling the book door-to-door, and when libraries were unwilling to pay for a copy, he gave them one.

Over the next 33 years, Whitman revised and expanded what was originally 12 untitled poems. By 1892, and on his death bed, the final version had over 400 poems.

Whitman was "banned in Boston" due to the sexual nature of some of his works. Other municipalities sued
the varying publishers, forcing them to drop the book
unless Whitman edited out the offending lines. He refused.

Branded a "sodomite"in several newspapers, Whitman never once strayed from his goal.He was terminated in 1870 over the book, and simply found another job

By 1892, he was lauded as a nation's treasure.
Half of all 20th century noted poets vote him as
a major influence. He is called the father of free verse,
And today, Leaves is considered one of the most iconic works of American poetry.

User avatar
Billy
Posts: 815
Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 10:56

Re: What Are You Willing to do to Succeed in Poetry ? Walt W

#3 Post by Billy » 27 Oct 2017, 01:01

What is to succeed?

from W.S. Merwin poem called Berryman:

I asked how can you ever be sure
that what you write is really
any good at all and he said you can't

you can't you can never be sure
you die without knowing
whether anything you wrote was any good
if you have to be sure don't write

Kenneth2816
Posts: 732
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: What Are You Willing to do to Succeed in Poetry ? Walt W

#4 Post by Kenneth2816 » 28 Oct 2017, 09:53

Good point.

Post Reply

Return to “Writer's Block Palaver”