”Leaves of Grass was originally published on July 4, 1855 in Brooklyn, New York. The first edition of 1855 had only 12 poems, but by the third edition the work had been expanded greatly to 134 poems. The image of grass is particularly prominent in the poem ‘Song of Myself,’ in which Whitman uses it as a metaphor for the cyclical nature of life.”
When I read the book, the biography famous,
And is this then (said I) what the author calls a man’s life?
And so will some one when I am dead and gone write my life?
(As if any man really knew aught of my life,
Why even I myself I often think know little or nothing of my real life,
Only a few hints, a few diffused faint clews and indirections
I seek for my own use to trace out here.)