Found in 1992, this wax cylinder recording of the poem, “America,” is thought to be the actual voice of Walt Whitman himself. Of course, there’s been debate about it ever since—even the Walt Whitman archives list it as “possibly” his voice. Perhaps it was an actor, but evidence exists that Thomas Edison wanted to record Whitman reading his work. It would be an obscure choice for a “forgery.” Regardless, a stirring reading, no?
Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear’d , grown, un grown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love.
Fun fact: Someone wag posted “Song of Myself” on Rapgenius. I can’t decide if it’s actually trolling to post Walt Whitman amongst the Biggie and Tupac, but at least he’s among suitably rapier fellow wordsmiths.