General Series Editors: Gay Wilson Allen and Sculley Bradley Originally published between 1961 and 1984, and now available in paperback for the first time, the critically acclaimed Collected Writings of Walt Whitman captures every facet of one of America's most important poets. In discussing letter-writing, Whitman made his own views clear. Simplicity and naturalness were his guidelines. "I like my letters to be personal-very personal-and then stop." The six volumes in The Correspondence comprise nearly 3,000 letters written over a half century, revealing Whitman the person as no other documents can. This volume, together with Volume V, covers the last seven years of Whitman's life, giving an almost day-by-day account of his long struggle with various ailments, his stoical acceptance of constant pain, but also his continuing energy. This period saw his supervision and publication of two complete editions of Leaves of Grass, as well as November Boughs and Good-bye My Fancy. Although Whitman himself admitted that many of his later poems were "pot boilers," designed primarily to make money, his recognition and popularity continued to grow as his health declined.
His poems were printed seemingly everywhere and the volume of critical commentary increased. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Whitman did not suffer from neglect of indifference.