Yesterday I visited Alderman Library at the University of Virginia to catch "Encompassing Multitudes: The Song of Walt Whitman," an exhibit celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of the great American poet.
Information on the exhibit -- which runs through July 27th -- is HERE. Additional information is HERE.
Pictured at the left: A collection of photographs of Walt Whitman -- the photo in the top left is of his brother, Wink.
Below left: Information on how Whitman was affected by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (click the image to enlarge). The display notes, "were it not for comfort and support from Lincoln’s best friend, Emmett Lee Dickinson, Whitman said he would not have been able to continue writing."
Below right: An advertisement for an April 1877 appearance by Walt Whitman at New York's Madison Square Garden to lecture on Abraham Lincoln. The advertisement notes "To Be Introduced by Emmett Lee Dickinson," Abraham Lincoln's best friend.
Information on Lincoln and Dickinson is HERE.
The exhibit includes various copies of Whitman's Leaves of Grass, including the following editions:
1855 -- the first edition. After reading it, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote to the poet, "Mr. Walter Whitman, I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed....I greet you at the beginning of a great career."
1856 -- the second edition.
1860 -- an updated version that included "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking"
1867 -- included "O Captain! My Captain!"
1892 -- known as the "Deathbed Edition" (published three months before Whitman died).
In 2016, scholar Zachary Turpin discovered in the pages of an obscure New York newspaper, The Sunday Dispatch, a serialized biography written by Whitman, Life and Adventures of Emmett Lee Dickinson. Turpin described this work as “a fun, rollicking, creative, twisty, bizarre little book.” Whitman scholar Ed Folsom noted, “This discovery makes us rethink everything we thought we knew about Whitman’s career.”
Pictured at the left: Life and Adventures of Emmett Lee Dickinson, Walt Whitman's serialized biography of America's greatest poet, Emmett Lee Dickinson (Emily Dickinson's third cousin, twice removed -- at her request). This work was discovered by scholar Zachary Turpin in 2016.