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Wharton Esherick's Illuminated and Illustrated Song of the Broad-Axe

Wharton Esherick's Illuminated and Illustrated Song of the Broad-Axe( )
Author: Whitman, Walt
Wharton Esherick Museum Staff,
ISBN:978-0-7643-3677-5
Publication Date:Jan 2011
Publisher:Schiffer Publishing, Limited
Book Format:Hardback
List Price:USD $35.00
Book Description:

In 1922, Harold Mason asked Wharton Esherick to illustrate Walt Whitman's Song of the Broad-Axe, which was then published in a limited edition in 1924. Inspired by those woodcuts, Esherick created a hand-bound prototype book of Whitman's poem, using prints made direct from his blocks then hand-lettering it in his calligraphic style. Illuminated letters were used to begin paragraphs, and spaces at the end of lines were filled with blue and yellow drawings that reflect the content of the...
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Book Details
Pages:48
Physical Dimensions (W X L X H):8.424 x 10.881 Inches
Book Weight:1.43 Pounds
Author Biography
Whitman, Walt (Author)
Walt Whitman was born on Long Island and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the son of a carpenter. He left school when he was 11 years old to take a variety of jobs. By the time he was 15, Whitman was living on his own in New York City, working as a printer and writing short pieces for newspapers. He spent a few years teaching, but most of his work was either in journalism or politics. Gradually, Whitman became a regular contributor to a variety of Democratic Party newspapers and reviews, and early in his career established a rather eccentric way of life, spending a great deal of time walking the streets, absorbing life and talking with laborers. Extremely fond of the opera, he used his press pass to spend many evenings in the theater.

In 1846, Whitman became editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, a leading Democratic newspaper. Two years later, he was fired for opposing the expansion of slavery into the west.

Whitman's career as a poet began in 1885, with the publication of the first edition of his poetry collection, Leaves of Grass. The book was self-published (Whitman probably set some of the type himself), and despite his efforts to publicize it - including writing his own reviews - few people read it. One reader who did appreciate it was essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote a letter greeting Whitman at "the beginning of a great career." Whitman's poetry was unlike any verse that had ever been seen. Written without rhyme, in long, loose lines, filled with poetic lists and exclamations taken from Whitman's reading of the Bible, Homer, and Asian poets, these poems were totally unlike conventional poetry. Their subject matter, too, was unusual - the celebration of a free-spirited individualist whose love for all things and people seemed at times disturbingly sensual. In 1860, with the publication of the third edition on Leaves of Grass, Whitman alienated conventional thinkers and writers even more. When he went to Boston to meet Emerson, poet Henry



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