Some years ago, when a few copies of a volume called Leaves of Grass found their way into this country from America, the general verdict of those who had an opportunity of examining the book was that much of it was indescribably filthy, most of it mere incoherent rhapsody, none of it what could be termed poetry in any sense of the word, and that, unless at the hands of some enterprising Holywell Street publisher,
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have produced. He is American as certain forms of rowdyism and vulgarity, excrescences on American institutions, are American. But that he is American in the sense of being representative of American taste, intellect, or cultivation, we should be very sorry indeed to believe. New he certainly is, but it is only in his audacity, and in the abnormal structure of his poetry; there is not a new thought in his writings from beginning to end.