Essential Walt Whitman

CD - unabridged
Audio (1 disc)
Product Number: DD14279
Released: Jun 03, 2008
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780061566417
Narrator/s: Ed Begley
Publisher: Caedmon Audio
Please log in to view pricing


A poem by Whitman may be whoops and hollers, or beating of drums, or the ebb of the tide singing to itself among the stones, or laments in the night or cries of ecstasy. Indeed, Whitman was the wind which blew poetry from its moorings in tradition and sent it into fresher waters; his poems celebrating the grandness of the human condition are cadenced for the voice and meant to be spoken aloud. In this recording drawn from the Caedmon archives, reader Ed Begley, Sr. performs selections from Whitman's lifelong work, Leaves of Grass

Author(s): Walt Whitman
Genre: Poetry

Professional reviews

"Even though these selections were recorded in 1959 and 1969, the production and sound quality are impressively clear. Ed Begley does an admirable job of narrating, but at times he takes on the tenor and intonation of a fire-and-brimstone preacher, not so much performing the poems and selections as reading them with gusto. While this approach works well for such poems as "I Hear America Singing," it loses some of its effect as the selections march on, inasmuch as the listener starts to lose track of the poems' actual words and meanings. However, Begley does depart from his grandiloquent style for such poems as "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd," which he reads with appropriate calm and introspection that communicate the power of Whitman's honest words. A.H.A. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"

Sign up for our email newsletter