Live Oak, With Moss
As he was turning 40, Walt Whitman wrote 12 poems in a small handmade book he entitled Live Oak, with Moss. The poems were intensely private reflections on his attraction and affection for other men. They were also Whitman’s most adventurous explorations of the theme of same-sex love, composed decades before the word “homosexual” came into use. This revolutionary, extraordinarily beautiful and passionate cluster of poems was never published by Whitman and has remained unknown to the general public—until now.
New York Times bestselling and Caldecott Award–winning illustrator Brian Selznick offers a provocative visual narrative of Live Oak, with Moss, and Whitman scholar Karen Karbiener reconstructs the story of the poetic cluster’s creation and destruction. Walt Whitman’s reassembled, reinterpreted Live Oak, with Moss serves as a source of inspiration and a cause for celebration.