Whitman's uniquely revealing impressions of the people, places, and events of his time.
One of the most creative and individual poets America has produced, Walt Whitman was also a prolific diarist, note-taker, and essayist whose intimate observations and reflections have profoundly deepened understanding of nineteenth-century American life. "Specimen Days and Collect," first published in 1882, is a choice collection of Whitman's uniquely revealing impressions of the people, places, and events of his time, principally the era of the Civil War and its aftermath.
On page after page, a vast panorama of American life unfolds, and with it rare glimpse of Whitman as poet, empathetic observer, and romantic wanderer. From his years as a wartime nurse in Washington, D.C., come touching glimpses of the dead and dying in military hospitals, memories of Abraham Lincoln, and vivid impressions of the nation's capital in a time of great crisis.