Song of Myself
The epic text of one of America's greatest poets, reimagined in stunning illustrations.
Walt Whitman's iconic collection of poems, Leaves of Grass, has earned a reputation as a sacred American text. Whitman himself made such comparisons, going so far as to use biblical verse as a model for his own. So it's only appropriate that artist and illustrator Allen Crawford has chosen to illuminate - like medieval monks with their own holy scriptures - Whitman's masterpiece and the core of his poetic vision, 'Song of Myself'. Crawford has turned the original sixy-page poem from Whitman's 1855 edition into a sprawling 234-page work of art. The handwritten text and illustrations intermingle in a way that's both surprising and wholly in tune with the spirit of the poem - they're exuberant, rough and wild.
Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself is a sensational reading experience, an artefact in its own right and a masterful tribute to one of America's greatest poets.
“This is a 21st-century version of an illuminated manuscript: portable as a Kindle, but a thousand times more lovely.”
Rachel Cooke, Observer