Poetry for Young People: Walt Whitman

by Jonathan Levin (Editor)

Other authorsJim Burke (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2008



Call number

811.3 Lev

Call number

811.3 Lev

Local notes

811.3 Lev




Sterling (2008), Edition: Reprint, 48 pages


An illustrated collection of twenty-six poems and excerpts from longer poems by the renowned nineteenth-century poet.


Original language


Physical description

48 p.; 8.5 x 0.25 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member michcall
A good selection of poems from Whitman that children could enjoy. I thought the illustrations matched the style of the poetry. No need to argue Whitman's place in literature although he is probably not my favorite poet.
LibraryThing member rita009
This book is an introduction to Whitman's life and work. Its a collection of 26 poems. Each poem is introduced with a small selection of information pertaining to a larger work and relationship to Whitman's beliefs.

I did not really enjoy this book because I could not follow many of the poems. Some
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of the poems, I just could not understand.

I would try to use this book in my classroom by putting my students in pairs of 2 and have them discuss with the rest of the class what their interpretation of the poem was and how they could relate to the poem.
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LibraryThing member sunnysturdivant
Summary: All of the poems in this book were written by Walt Whitman. This book is broken down by poems that are about the sea, war, land, the sky and cosmos. I chose to read the poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider.” This poem is about a spider and how they silently make webs. He creates an analogy
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between the spider and the human soul. I also read “Miracles” with the use of imagination, Walt creates a poem that finds what seems to be an ordinary plain situation or circumstance and turns it into a miracle. Examples of this include, animals feeding in a field or strangers in opposite cars, the sea, or night and day.

Personal reaction: I think this book is an excellent collection of poems that would be great to read in the classroom. Walt Whitman has many classic poems that have deep meanings, and are excellent to read to any class. It is important to expose students to these classic poems.

Classroom Extension: (1) Students could write about what they think the meaning of the poem is, then share it with the class. (2). Students could memorize their favorite line in a poem, then share with the class why that line was their favorite.
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LibraryThing member kourtneysanner
Summary: The first five pages of this book tells about the life of Walt Whitman. The book is essentially a collection of his poetry. They are categorized by "on land", "at sea", "at war", and "sky and cosmos".

Personal Reaction:
I thought this was a great book of poetry especially for elementary
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students. It is a great way to introduce poetry. My favorite poem from the book was "Miracles".

Classroom Extension:
1. As a class, we could discuss the time period of which Walt Whitman lived and how it impacted his poetry.

2. Compare and contrast Whitman's poetry with modern poetry.
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LibraryThing member theresazeigler
This book is a collection of poems and pieces of poems by Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman wrote about the common people he came in contact with during his travels and everyday life. He wrote about things and people hat were taken for granted or taken advantage of. the two poems that I read from
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this book were, "The Runaway Slave", taken from "Song of Myself", and "A Man's Body at Auction", taken from "I Sing the Body Electric". Both poems were about slaves.
"The Runaway Slave" is about a man who helps a runaway slave. He keeps the slave at his house to rest and heal for a week, until he was well enough to be on his way.
"A Man's Body at Auction" is about a slave auction. Walt Whitman describes the slave that is being auctioned and the people at the auction.

Personal Response: I enjoy reading about slaves. It makes me grateful for my way of life and the struggles of the people before for paving the way.

Classroom Extensions: When many children are introduced to poetry. they think that poems are supposed to rhyme. This book is a good book to introduce different kinds of poems.
Some of the poems about slaves can be read when learning about slaves. Walt Whitman is very descriptive, not just about physical things, in his poems.
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LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
The pictures were pretty, but neither powerful nor, usually, historically illuminating. The biography was a bit bland & superficial. The poems chosen were sometimes a little too difficult. I'm not sure I like the placement of the definitions of 'hard' words at the bottom of each page - helpful, but
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But it's Whitman. And if you haven't shared Whitman with your children or students yet, the least you could do is get to the library and share this.

from To a Locomotive in Winter

Fierce-throated beauty!
Roll through my chant with all thy lawless music, thy swinging lamps at night,
Thy madly-whistled laughter, echoing, rumbling like an earthquake, rousing all,
Law of thyself complete, thine own track firmly holding,
To the free skies unpent and glad and strong.
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