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When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer Essay & Criticism

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Critical Overview

Whitman created a sensation in the literary community from the publication of the first edition of Leaves of Grass in 1855, but his poems were extremely controversial, and he was abused by critics throughout his career. When Drum-Taps was published in 1865, reviews in the United States tended to be mixed, although critics such as John Burroughs, in his article "Walt Whitman and His Drum-Taps," were struck by this volume and began to recognize Whitman as a unique and powerful American poet, praising "the rugged faith and sweet solemnity we would describe in Drum-Taps." The anonymous New York Times reviewer of November 22, 1865, on the other hand, was among the many critics who continued to find Whitman's poetry obscene: "we find in them a poverty of thought, paraded forth with a hubbub of stray words."

Negative reactions to Whitman's poetry, both in the United States and abroad, continued to be problematic...

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This section contains 402 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer Study Guide
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When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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