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Walt Whitman’s iconic collection of poems, Leaves of Grass, has earned a reputation as a sacred American text. Whitman himself made such comparisons, going so far as to use biblical verse as a model for his own. So it’s only appropriate that artist and illustrator Allen Crawford has chosen to illuminate—like medieval monks with their own holy scriptures—Whitman’s masterpiece and the core of his poetic vision, “Song of Myself.” Crawford has turned the original sixty-page poem from Whitman’s 1855 edition into a sprawling 234-page work of art. The handwritten text and illustrations intermingle in a way that’s both surprising and wholly in tune with the spirit of the poem—they’re exuberant, rough, and wild. Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself is a sensational reading experience, an artifact in its own right, and a masterful tribute to the Good Gray Poet.
Praise for Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself
"Zestful. . .exudes the essence of Whitman's 1855 edition."
—New York Times
"Whitman's famous Leaves of Grass poem gets a gorgeous visual treatment that will wow poetry fans."
"A lovely and inspired visual interpretation of Whitman’s classic 60-page poem."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"Allen Crawford brings you the words of Walt Whitman beautifully arranged and illustrated in Whitman Illuminated: Song Of Myself."
"Crawford’s tribute is a beautiful piece of art that every Whitman lover will want on their bookshelf."
"[Crawford's] elegant, lyrical play of text size and orientation layers over Whitman’s poem a kind of visual rhythm that not only harmonizes with the original verses but enriches them and gives them uncommon dimension."
"Crawford's work is almost something else entirely, a pictorial guidebook to Whitman's catalog of Americana. The poem is so vivid it's almost surprising no one has thought of this before. The few samples of the work available online thus far arestunning."
Praise for Allen Crawford's (aka Lord Whimsy) The Affected Provincial’s Companion, Volume One
“…one of the more charming treatises to come along in years…In short, [Crawford] glorifies almost every aspect of Homo Affectus…as [his] book points out, being a dandy is…about imagination, about dreaming up and acquiring and embodying a mixture of traits and clothes and habits peculiar to you. And if they seem peculiar to everyone else, well then, they had better catch up, hadn’t they?”
—The New York Times
"Ask Whimsy, and he may call himself a “crack-pot” or a “shut-in.” But if you want the full answer, hightail it to a bookstore and secure a copy of one of the most entertaining—and certainly weirdest—non-fiction titles of the summer…The Companion is a lifestyle battlecry, both quaint and radical, lighthearted and dead serious…The Affected Provincial’s Companion may never dislodge The South Beach Diet as a guide to post-modern American living, but it is a lot more fun than any rivals in the field. After reading this eccentric’s creed, it feels good to know that a book this quirky can still get published. And good, too, to know that Whimsy is out there, tending his bug-eating plants and dreaming up his next shot at boring mainstream life."
—The Associated Press
"We humbly endeavor to showcase the talents, both literary and graphical, of the aforementioned Lord Whimsy. While he has been widely denounced as a cad, rake, and sipper of porridges, we humbly submit that he is also a splendid raconteur and a canny quillsman. Granted, he is also something of a bounder. But, gentle reader, let the work speak for itself. Witness his rousing jeremiad against Sporting Wear. Admire his scientific chart detailing the improbable physics of Self Congress. Behold the impeccably turned out man-about-town. We are confident you will find this dandy’s manicured musings a bracing tonic against the enervating drudgery of the modern world. Was it not the great Gallic thespian Gerard Depardieu who once exclaimed, “Ah, Whimsy—un homme d’esprit!” Yes, it was not."