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Catalog of the Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, The New York Public Library

Original records created by New York Public Library; machine-readable catalog created by Terry Catapano; revised and expanded by the Walt Whitman Archive and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Encoded Archival Description completed with the assistance of the Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation, the University of Nebraska Research Council, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Title: Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, The New York Public Library

Collection Number: N/A


Creator:  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892


Creator:  Bucke, R.M.


Creator:  Burroughs, John


Collector:  W. T. H. Howe, Bliss Perry, Albert A. Berg, Owen D. Young


Repository:  New York Public Library

Abstract:
The collection was processed by Sarah Dickson and John Gordan, primarily in 1941. This catalog was created from a text originally generated in 1998, converted to EAD-SGML by Terry Catapano in May 2000, and obtained by the Walt Whitman Archive. The inventory for the collection was created by Diana Burnham in 2000.

Scope and Content: 
The Berg Collection's letters and manuscripts by Walt Whitman cover the years 1854 to 1891, with a small amount of material as yet undated. Strengths of the collection include nearly 30 manuscript poems or poem fragments and Whitman's autograph revision of the "Analysis of Poems" by Dr. R. Bucke. This essay was written for Bucke's authorized biography (Walt Whitman, 1883) and Whitman's extensive revisions were incorporated before publication. The correspondence includes two longer runs, one to William O' Connor and the other to his wife, Ellen O'Connor. The O'Connors were active in a number of social causes, as well as being devoted advocates of Whitman and his writing. William O'Connor, author of The Good Gray Poet (1866), was one of Whitman's closest friends until an argument in 1873 caused a break in their friendship.

Others who figure prominently in the Berg Collection's Whitman materials include John Burroughs (1837-1921), nature writer, literary critic, and author of Notes on Walt Whitman as Poet and Person (1867); Peter Doyle and Harry Stafford, young friends of Whitman's; and Richard Maurice Bucke (1837-1902), Whitman's authorized biographer, friend and literary executor. In addition to writing Walt Whitman (1883) and Walt Whitman, Man and Poet (1898), Bucke co-edited with Horace Traubel and Thomas Harned The Complete Writings (1902).

This catalog includes item-level descriptions of only those items deemed poetry or prose manuscripts.


Subjects:
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892;  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892--Manuscripts; Poets, American--19th century



Whitman Archive Title: A Child's Reminiscence
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00005
Box: Cased.
Date: about 1859
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 19 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37
Content: Printer's copy of the poem "A Child's Reminiscence," which appeared in the New-York Saturday Press on 24 December 1859. This poem later appeared as "A Word Out of the Sea" in Leaves of Grass (1860); as "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" in "Sea-Shore Memories," Passage to India (1871); and finally in "Sea Drift," Leaves of Grass (1881–82).



Whitman Archive Title: A Death-Sonnet for Custer
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00007
Date: about 1876
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Printer's copy of the poem "A Death-Sonnet for Custer" with instructions to preserve the manuscript in its current form for Bayard Taylor. "A Death-Sonnet for Custer" first appeared in the New York Daily Tribune on 10 July 1876. It was then reprinted as "From Far Dakotas Cañons" in Leaves of Grass (1881–82).



Whitman Archive Title: A talent for conversation
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00026
Date: Between 1840 and 1860
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: A brief manuscript scrap with no known connection to Whitman's published work. This manuscript is difficult to date conclusively, but Edward Grier suggests that "this sort of moralizing . . . belongs to [Whitman's] journalizing of the 1840s through the 1860s" (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:295). An image of the verso is currently unavailable.



Whitman Archive Title: Additional Note written 1887 for the English Edition.
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00002
Date: 1887
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 3 leaves, handwritten, printed
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Content: A nearly complete draft of an essay Whitman wrote for the English Edition of Specimen Days. This essay first appeared in 1887 as "Additional Note. Written 1887 for the English Edition." Whitman slightly revised the title, changing it to "Additional Note, 1887, to English Edition 'Specimen Days,'" before including it in Complete Prose Works (1892).



Whitman Archive Title: As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00003
Box: Manuscript box.
Date: around 1872
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 14 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28
Content: A copy of "As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free" with directions to the printer, as returned to Whitman from the printing office. "As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free" was first published in the New York Herald on 26 June 1872. Afterward the poem was published with seven others in a pamphlet, As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free (1872). It was later included as a supplement bound with Two Rivulets (1876). Later, Whitman changed the title to "Thou Mother with Thy Equal Brood," added a new opening stanza, made additional revisions, and incorporated the poem into Leaves of Grass (1881–82). This manuscript was presented by the author to Richard J. Hinton, who in turn presented it to J. H. Johnston.



Whitman Archive Title: Broadway, 1861.
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00004
Box: Oversized (+).
Date: around 1861
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Lightly revised handwritten copy of a poem titled "Broadway, 1861," which is unrelated to the poem "Broadway" that Whitman published in the New York Herald in 1888. Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley note the similarity of "Broadway, 1861" to the opening poem of Drum-Taps, "First O Songs for a Prelude, " particularly "in its theme of the arousing of the energies of the great city—and of the nation—to the war." They also note this similarity in the two poems composed on the reverse of this leaf, "I Too Am Drawn . . ." and "I Have Lived . . ."



Whitman Archive Title: Describing the death
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00113
Repository Title: Walt Whitman. Holograph Manuscript Fragments Assembled by Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke.
Date: Between 1845 and 1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: A manuscript, seemingly rendered as prose, with no known connection to any of Whitman's published works. The handwriting and ink of this manuscript are very similar to the handwriting and ink on the back, which features draft lines of the poem that would eventually be titled "Song of Myself." The date of both is therefore likely before or early in 1855.



Whitman Archive Title: Go, said his Soul to a Poet.
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00013
Date: 1870-1874
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A rough draft, heavily revised, of a poem titled "Go, said his Soul to a Poet," which was first published in "A Christmas Garland of Prose and Verse" in the December 25, 1874 issue of the New York Daily Graphic and later used, without title, as the title-page epigraph for Leaves of Grass.



Whitman Archive Title: I last winter observed the snow
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00022
Date:
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: Two untitled lines of poetry. Sculley Bradley and Harold W. Blodgett suggest that the mention of a "wild-drake" may connect this scrap to the line about a "wood-drake" in what became section 13 of "Song of Myself" (line 237 in the Deathbed Edition). However, that connection seems tenuous, as nothing else about the lines in this scrap suggest a connection to "Song of Myself."



Whitman Archive Title: In the present state of
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00061
Date: Before or early in 1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: A phrase from this manuscript appears, slightly revised, in a review of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass that Whitman wrote for the Brooklyn Daily Times. In the review, entitled "Walt Whitman, a Brooklyn Boy," Whitman describes the book's author as "one in whom you will see the singularity which consists in no singularity." Whitman reprinted the review in the 1856 edition of Leaves. An image of the verso is currently unavailable.



Whitman Archive Title: Interpolation Sounds
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00059
Box: Manuscript box.
Date: about 1891
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Fair copy draft of the poem "Interpolation Sounds". This poem first appeared without a title in the New York Herald four days after Whitman's short prose tribute to General Philip K. Sheridan, a Union general during the Civil War. It was reprinted in "Good-Bye My Fancy" in 1891, with the additional note: "General Sheridan was buried at the Cathedral, Washington, D.C. August, 1888, with all the pomp, music and ceremonies of the Roman Catholic service."



Whitman Archive Title: Leaves Supervenio
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00038
Date:
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: Two trial titles, "Leaves Supervenio" and "Leaves Supervened." As Edward F. Grier writes, these titles may "refer to WW's plans about 1870 to compose a new volume of poetry."



Whitman Archive Title: Mocking all the textbooks
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00024
Repository Title: [wider than the west]
Date: Before or early in 1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: The general sentiment expressed in this manuscript fragment, as well as the reference to "proofs and diagrams," are similar to the poem "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer." Although that poem was not published until its inclusion in Drum-Taps in 1865, Edward Grier dates this manuscript to "before or early in 1855" (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:164). On the reverse of this note (nyp.00510) is a draft fragment that includes phases and poetic lines that were revised and used in the 1855 and 1856 editions of Leaves of Grass.



Whitman Archive Title: My own visits and distributions
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00060
Date: 1863–1864
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 4 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Content: A draft of Civil War prose that Whitman later cannibalized and used in various published pieces about the war. Though this manuscript was not printed as a complete prose piece, it appears to be an early draft of "Our Wounded and Sick Soldiers," first published in the 11 December 1864 issue of The New-York Times. Whitman reprinted parts of "Our Wounded and Sick Soldiers" in "'Tis But Ten Years Since," New York Weekly Graphic (14 February 1874, 28 February 1874, and 7 March 1874); in various places in Memoranda During the War (1876); and in various places in Specimen Days (1882). The verso of the final leaf contains a cancelled letter in Whitman's hand, recommending him for employment as a government clerk.



Whitman Archive Title: Nehemiah Whitman
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00556
Repository Title: A Family Record. Composed and written by Walt Whitman.
Date: Between 1845 and 1861
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: This manuscript consists of notes about Whitman's family history. The various dates referenced suggest that the earliest portions of it were written sometime after 1845, and most of the notes seem to have been written at various stages between 1845 and 1855. Edward Grier dates the recto to 1850, and speculates that the earliest date for the writing on the verso is likely March 1853, when the two Cumberland Street houses were sold (Notebooks and Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:8). For footnotes relating the names listed here to Whitman, see Grier. Whitman made additions to the manuscript several times, adding to it for the last time sometime around 1861. One of the names referenced on the verso, "Covert," appears in Whitman's short story "Revenge and Requital" (1845) and his novel Life and Adventures of Jack Engle (1852). The name is also mentioned in an early notebook draft of the plot of Jack Engle (see "a schoolmaster").



Whitman Archive Title: Poem of the Ancient
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00039
Date: probably before 1867
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: Notes toward a poem on the "earth," "heavens," and "the Ancient." On the verso are some numbers and calculations.



Whitman Archive Title: Sea Winrows
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00033
Date: between 1860 and 1881
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: A list of words probably related to the poem "As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life," originally published as "Bardic Symbols" in the Atlantic Monthly 5 (April 1860). The final version of the poem was published in Leaves of Grass (1881-82). The verso features the words "Sands and Drifts."



Whitman Archive Title: Song of the Universal
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00076
Date: 1874
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 13 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26
Content: Draft of the poem "The Song of the Universal", which first appeared simultaneously in The New York Evening Post and The New York Daily Graphic on 17 June 1874. It was later reprinted in the New York World on 19 June 1874, in the Camden New Republic on 20 June 1874, and in Two Rivulets (1876).



Whitman Archive Title: Speaking of literary style
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00532
Date: Around 1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A prose fragment with notes about poetry, in which Whitman quotes Voltaire. The prose has no known connection to Whitman's published work. On the reverse are poetic lines, some of which appeared slightly revised in the poem eventually titled "Song of Myself."



Whitman Archive Title: Superb and infinitely manifold
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00063
Repository Title: Holograph notes for lectures and poems; 12 notes written on 14 pieces of paper, unsigned, undated.
Date: Before or early in 1855
Genre: prose, poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: This manuscript's discussion of the vastness of time and space is similar to a passage from the poem that would eventually be titled "Song of Myself." The manuscript includes the phrase "countless octillions of the cubic leagues of space," while a phrase from the version of the poem in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass reads "a few octillions of cubic leagues, do not hazard the span" (51). Whether or not this manuscript contributed directly to the poem, the similarity suggests that the manuscript was written before or early in 1855. An image of the manuscript verso is currently unavailable.



Whitman Archive Title: Tar, turpentine, shingles
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00037
Date: about 1860
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: Notes, probably toward a poem, mentioning building materials from North Carolina, slaves driving carts, a lumber boat, and a pack of dogs ready for a slave hunt.



Whitman Archive Title: The Dead Emperor
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00006
Date: about 1888
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Printer's copy of the poem "The Dead Emperor," which was first published in the New York Herald on 10 March 1888 and later reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). The poem mourns the death of Emperor William I of Germany on 9 March 1888, and the Herald of 10 March contained details of his final hours as well as Whitman's poem.



Whitman Archive Title: The Pallid Wreath
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00074
Date: 1891
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 2 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Content: Draft of the poem "The Pallid Wreath," which was published in the Critic 18 (10 January 1891) and reprinted in Good-Bye My Fancy (1891). The original envelope containing the draft and comments to the editor of the Critic is included.



Whitman Archive Title: The Sobbing of the Bells
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00075
Box: Cased.
Date: 1881
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: Draft fragment of the poem "The Sobbing of the Bells," unsigned and dated midnight, Sept. 19-20, 1881. Included at the top of the manuscript is a note to Mr. Clarke regarding the setup and proof. The poem treats the death of President James Garfield and was first published in the Boston Daily Globe on September 27, 1881.



Whitman Archive Title: The fester of defeat sharper than the
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00023
Date: 1854—1855
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Poetic lines, some of which appeared slightly revised in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass. These lines comprise part of the poem Whitman eventually titled "Song of Myself." On the verso of this scrap of paper is a prose fragment in which Whitman quotes Voltaire.



Whitman Archive Title: The good hostess
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00042
Date: 1840s or 1850s
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: A brief scrap of prose describing a "good hostess" who makes "fine apple dumplings." The manuscript has no known connection to any of Whitman's published works. Based on the handwriting, Edward Grier dates this manuscript to the 1840s or 1850s (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:297). An image of the verso is currently unavailable.



Whitman Archive Title: The most perfect wonders
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00057
Repository Title: The most perfect wonders...
Date: Before or early in 1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: Some of the language in this manuscript is similar to wording in the poem that would eventually be titled "Song of Myself." See, for instance: "What is commonest and cheapest and nearest and easiest is Me," (1855, p. 21); "I take my place among you as much as among any," (1855, p. 48); "Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself" (1855, p. 54); "It is for you whoever you are . . . . it is no farther from you than your hearing and sight are from you, / It is hinted by nearest and commonest and readiest . . . . it is not them, though it is endlessly provoked by them" (1855, p. 59). Based on the handwriting, Edward Grier dates this manuscript to 1855 or earlier (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:186). An image of the verso is currently unavailable.



Whitman Archive Title: The power by which the carpenter
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00029
Date: 1840s or 1850s
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: A brief manuscript fragment, seemingly referencing the laws of gravity, with no known connection to Whitman's published work. Based on the handwriting, Edward Grier dates this manuscript to the 1850s (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:136). An image of the verso is currently unavailable.



Whitman Archive Title: Walt Whitman's Poem
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00528
Date: 1859
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A draft of a notice for "A Child's Reminiscence," a poem which first appeared in the 24 December 1859 issue of the New-York Saturday Press. This manuscript is catalogued with other "advance notices" of "A Child's Reminiscence" that do not seem to have appeared in print, though Whitman indicated with which periodical each of them would be placed. "Walt Whitman's Poem" appeared—as Whitman himself notes on the manuscript—"under editorial head Saturday Press Dec 24."



Whitman Archive Title: Walt Whitman's birthday
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00046
Date: 1884
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 3 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Content: A fair copy of "Walt Whitman's Birthday," a short article that appeared in the 31 May 1884 issue of the Philadelphia Times.



Whitman Archive Title: Warble for Lilac-Time
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00047
Date: 1870-1881
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 4 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Content: Fair copy draft of the poem "Warble for Lilac-Time," first published in the Galaxy 9 (May 1870). Whitman revised the poem for reprinting in Passage to India (1871), in the New York Daily Graphic (12 May 1873), in the group "Passage to India" of Leaves of Grass (1872) and Two Rivulets (1876), and in its present form in Leaves of Grass (1881-82).



Whitman Archive Title: We Are
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00025
Date: 1850-1860
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: Two lines of poetry with an unknown relation to Whitman's published work.



Whitman Archive Title: Yonnondio
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00049
Date: 1887-1888
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Heavily revised draft of the poem "Yonnondio," which first appeared in the Critic 11 (26 November 1887). It was reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888).



Whitman Archive Title: You lingering sparse leaves of me.
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00050
Date: about 1887
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Lightly revised draft of the poem "You lingering sparse leaves of me," first published in Lippincott's Magazine 40 (November 1887) with three other poems, under the title "November Boughs." It was then reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888).



Whitman Archive Title: You tokens diminute and lorn
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00051
Date: about 1887
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Three lines of a draft of "You lingering sparse leaves of me," first published in Lippincott's Magazine 40 (November 1887) with three other poems, under the title "November Boughs." It was then reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888).



Whitman Archive Title: [222—No.—(? Have you supplied]
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00028
Date: 1850-1860
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: Two scraps of paper, pasted together to form one leaf. The relation of this manuscript to Whitman's published work is unclear.



Whitman Archive Title: [? A laurel wreath]
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00053
Box: Oversized (+).
Date: about 1888
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Heavily revised draft of the poem "To Those Who've Fail'd." The poem was published in the New York Herald on 27 January 1888 and later reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888).



Whitman Archive Title: [A youth beloved by all]
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00045
Date: 1865-1885
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Two lines written on the top of a piece of letter-head stationery of the Attorney General's Office.



Whitman Archive Title: [Iron works]
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00021
Date: 1855–1856
Genre: poetry, prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: Prose notes and poetic lines that relate to "A Song for Occupations," which first appeared in the 1856 edition of Leaves of Grass, under the title "Poem of the Daily Work of the Workmen and Workwomen of These States." The title of this poem shifted throughout the editions of Leaves of Grass, and included the following variants: "Chants Democratic," "The Workingmen," and "Carol of Occupations." Whitman finally settled on the title, "A Song for Occupations," in the 1881–1882 edition. The line, "The forge-fires in the mountains...the men around, feeling the melt with huge crowbars" appeared slightly revised in both early and late versions of this poem. Other ideas detailed in the prose portion of this manuscript can be found in this poem; however, the connection of this manuscript to Whitman's published prose work is unclear.



Whitman Archive Title: [Then Another and very grave point]
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00012
Date: 1890–1891
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A partial draft of "American National Literature: Is There Any Such Thing—or Can There Ever Be?," which appeared in the March 1891 issue of North American Review, as "Have We a National Literature?" before being collected in Good-Bye My Fancy (1891).



Whitman Archive Title: [To pass existence]
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00052
Date: about 1855
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: On one side of this scrap is a single unidentified line of poetry, heavily revised. On the other side are two lines, revised, also unidentified.



Whitman Archive Title: [Two little buds]
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00044
Date: unknown
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A note consisting of four lines, possibly written toward a poem, that present the metaphor of "two little human buds" prematurely taken from the earth to bloom in "God's immortal garden." The relationship between this draft and Whitman's published poetry is unknown.



Whitman Archive Title: [Voices, Recitatives]
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00036
Date: 1867–1892
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: Notes and draft lines on the "rich man's just awakened soul." The connection between this manuscript and Whitman's published work is unclear.



Whitman Archive Title: [growing]
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00014
Date: about 1859
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Five lines of the poem "I Saw in Louisiana a Live Oak Growing." This poem is part of the "Calamus" cluster, which Whitman began assembling in the summer of 1859. The reverse features a note by the poet to himself, describing the poems as "A Cluster of Poems, Sonnets expressing the thoughts, pictures, aspirations &c Fit to be perused during the days of the approach of Death."



Whitman Archive Title: [or, Halcyon Days]
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00043
Date: around 1888
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Draft for a title page, beginning "or Halycon days," with a note at the head "for title page to supplement of L of G not Nov. Boughs." The verso appears to have been a previous title page draft for "Fancies at Navesink." "Halcyon Days" first appeared in the New York Herald on 29 January 1888, and was reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy Annex" to Leaves of Grass (1888).



Whitman Archive Title: content to the ground
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00040
Date: between 1845 and 1860
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1
Content: A list of words beginning with "the blacksmith's shop" and "the brewery" that could be related to a poem. The phrase "content to the ground" is probably tied to some other text from another scrap, since it is visually distinct from the other words on this leaf.



Whitman Archive Title: is wider than the west
Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00510
Date: Before or early in 1855
Genre: poetry, prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A draft fragment including phrases and poetic lines that were revised and used in different poems of Leaves of Grass. "The orbed opening of whose mouth," struck through on this manuscript, is suggestive of a line that appeared in the poem ultimately called "Song of Myself": "The orbic flex of his mouth is pouring and filling me full." The line "Nature is rude at first—but once begun never tires" was used slightly altered in the 1856 edition of Leaves of Grass, under the title "Poem of the Road" (Whitman revised the title to "Song of the Open Road" in the 1867 edition). On the reverse of this manuscript is a prose fragment on the subject of knowledge and learning (nyp.00024).




Restrictions: Access to the collection is restricted to qualified scholars and researchers through the Office of Special Collections, Room 316, Humanites and Social Sciences Library, New York Public Library. Requests for reproduction and/or permission to quote must be made in writing to the Curator and be accompanied by Estate permission.

Alternative Format: Digital images of some items are available in the "Manuscripts" section of the Archive.

Preferred Citation:  To identify this catalog as a source, see the Archive's "Conditions of Use" page.


Repository Contact Information:

New York Public Library
Humanities and Social Sciences Library
Room 320
5th Avenue and 42nd Street
New York, NY 10018-2788


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