Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself Illustrated by Allen Crawford – A Book Review

I firmly believe the publishing world must always adapt, evolve, and break new ground.  This book does just that.  Yes, it is Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, unaltered and unabridged.  However, Allen Crawford blended art and text to create something entirely new, all while still honoring the original poem.  Each page progresses the poem and integrates it with art.  At times, the text is virtually unreadable because it twists and turns, but it always serves a purpose, it always works in tandem with the illustration.

This book is like a riddle in that you must reposition it in order to read every page, you must study the illustration on each page to decipher its relevance to the text; in short, you must pause and ponder.  That’s not a bad thing.

If you only want a copy of Song of Myself, this book probably isn’t for you.  Like I said, it is at times virtually unreadable.  Rest assured you can find thousands of versions of the original poem in bookstores, online, or in any English textbook beginning at the seventh grade level.

But, if you appreciate Song of Myself and want to see it in a new light, this book will delight.  If you desire to see something a little different from the publishing industry, this is a superb example.  If you love art, text, and any combination of the two, this book is for you.

Or maybe you just want to see an item that exemplifies blood, sweat, and tears, and you want to reward the creator’s hard work by saying, “You did something unique, honorable, and interesting.  I want to support your efforts by purchasing the book.”

Whatever the case may be, if you fall into any of the previous categories, I truly think you’ll enjoy this book.

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