The New York Times

CORRECTION: A Common Language

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

TWO NEWLY DISCOVERED WORKS ENRICH AND COMPLICATE OUR VIEW OF WALT WHITMAN.

“Life And Adventures Of Jack Engle: An Auto-Biography”

By Walt Whitman

Introduction by Zachary Turpin

156 pages. $14."Manly Health and Training: To Teach the Science of a Sound Mind and a Beautiful Body”

By Walt Whitman

Introduction by Zachary Turpin

215 pages. $30.

More than any other American writer, Walt Whitman seems to have presaged our present moment. He came of age in an era of unparalleled national fracture and sought desperately, although fruitlessly, to unite the country through his poems. To birth a literary equivalent of Manifest Destiny, he created a new prosody, shucked of Old World meters and rhymes, in favor of sprawling free verse built from the sturdy idiom of Manhattan’s streets, what he called “the blab of the pave.” In so doing, he

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