Friday, June 7, 2024

Singing the Song of Himself

Walt Whitman's Books poster
Walt Whitman was never shy about self promotion. He famously wrote anonymous reviews of his own Leaves of Grass (think what he could have done on Amazon...) and made sure Emerson's quote, "I greet you at the beginning of a great career," was stamped on the spine of the second edition. Here we see him singing the song of himself by selling his books with a poster he had printed for booksellers. Not a lot of copies survive, but we are fortunate to have acquired one recently. We were particularly excited to see him trumpeting his recent "As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free," which he calls the "Commencement Poem delivered at Dartmouth College." That is sort of accurate, as we have chronicled in a previous post, he came to Dartmouth to deliver a poem in 1872, but it was at the invitation of the students on Class Day, not actually at Commencement. They paid him $17.50 but he made some hay from the honor in this advertisement.

So many typefaces! So much hype! So expansive! So Walt Whitman!

Stop by and take a look by asking for Broadside 001475. And there is plenty more if you are into Whitman!