In Whitman's Hand

Notebooks

About this Item

Title: 9th av.

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1854 and 1860

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00354

Source: 16th Sept |  The Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1842–1937, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from digital images of the original. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the notebooks, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This notebook contains several dated entries, all of which suggest that it was inscribed during the fall of 1856. On the recto of leaf 3 is a quotation taken from the New York Express, dated "Oct. 21, 1856"; on the verso of leaf 44 is the inscription "A. Brownson [sic] Alcott Oct. 4th '56"; and the inside back cover shows the date 16th Sept. Fredson Bowers has speculated, based on the locations of the dated entries, that all of the material that contributed to Whitman's poetry was written sometime after 21 October 1856. (See Bowers, Whitman's Manuscripts: Leaves of Grass [1860] A Parallel Text [Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1955], xxxiii–li, 40–56.) It is of course possible, however, that parts of the notebook were inscribed before and/or after the dated entries. Much of the notebook is devoted to draft material for the 1860 poem eventually titled "Starting from Paumanok," and one brief passage (on the verso of leaf 25) seems clearly to have contributed to "Song at Sunset," another 1860 poem. Two passages, suggest possible (though less certain) connections to poems that appeared in earlier editions of Leaves of Grass. On the verso of the sixteenth leaf is a passage with similarities to the 1856 poem eventually titled "Miracles," and on the recto of the fifth leaf are lines that might have contributed to the first poem of the 1855 Leaves of Grass, ultimately titled "Song of Myself."

This is one of several notebooks that Whitman filled from both ends. That is, rather than choosing one cover as the "front" and writing all the way through to the "back," Whitman treated both covers as "fronts," with the result that about half of the pages are inscribed upside-down relative to the other pages. It is unclear which pages were inscribed first; furthermore, several of the leaves have become detached and seem to have been moved to different positions over the years by those examining the notebook. For this reason, we have chosen to base our ordering of the pages on Fredson Bowers's transcription, since it offers the earliest account of the notebook's state. It should be noted that this ordering differs significantly from the current disposition of the notebook and that both of these also differ from the ordering in the transcription of William White, Daybooks and Notebooks (New York: New York University Press, 1978), 3:777–803. Note also that some of the page images have been rotated to make them easily readable.

Contributors to digital file: Joshua Matthews, Kirsten Clawson, Nicole Gray, and Brett Barney



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9th av. cor 24th s[t]

Dan Van Valkenb[illegible]


——————————

Lot on Lawton st. near
Division av

Dan Van Valkenb[illegible]

W. McCormick

105 Byard st.

S. Wallin

8 LeRoy Place

Bleeker St


——————————

Silas Ludlan


——————————

Youmans

63 2d. av.


——————————

F. Bellew

70 West 27th St


——————————

Empire House—

Pennsylvania av between
3d and 4th street


——————————

Mrs. Harrison's

Pennsylvania


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Patrick Fleming, Jackson Hall [Alley?]
& Pennsylvania av

f[illegible]

Charles Drummond


——————————

Dr. Smith

140 York st cor Charles


——————————

Mrs. Tyndale

Germantown

cor Main and
High sts.—


——————————

Mrs. Chilton

69 Verick st.

Phebe Ann
Wood

34[8?] Grove


——————————

Mr. T. C. Leland,

77 Duane st.


——————————

Mrs. Walton

107 C[illegible]Dean corner
Hoyt


——————————

John W. Usher

Cor. Pensylvania av. & 14th st.

City Lunch


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N.Y. Express, Oct. 21, 1856

"But for the American party, the Northern, sectional, geographical party of Wm H. Seward & Co. would, under Fremont, have swept the whole Northern country." (editorial.)


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Proem.—

Proem of all

These are the candid
open-sho[wn?] thoughts
of me, and of all
my body & soul

Lo, the amp free open amplitude
over and over

Lo the round globe, tumbling

Lo, friendly persons advancing,
tall, muscular, ^friendly with
sufficient hands and feet,

Lo—the great women of upon of the world
the New Worldand the lo
how they precede the beard-faced masters
of upon the world,


———
[illegible]

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Lo

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Shall [illegible]speak in the Presidents
Message from the porch
of the ^Federal Capitol, and in
the Governors' Messages
from the State Capitols,
and in the rulings of
the Judges of the
Supreme Court,

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Commencement of Discourse


 "Spiritualism"

Life is very great but theere [f?] is something greater than life, absorbing life, namely Death.—When as we are in the midst of affairs, going to dinner, &c, we receive the news of the sudden death of — —over


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Proem

^Preface of Endless Announcements

Toward the perfect woman
of The America

Toward the perfect man
of America

Toward the President
of These States, and
the members of
the Congress of These
States

Proem

Preface of Endless
Announcements

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——————————

After all is said, it remains to be said, This too is great in its reference to death


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Poem of Remorse


———

I now look back to the
times when I thought
others—slaves?—the ignorant?
—so much inferior to my self


———

To have so much less right
than myself


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O you round Earth,
I


——————————

Savage and strong,

Free, luxuriant, im          ,
I, from Mannahatta
speak up for The States.


——————————

O my body, that gives
me identity!

O my organs!all and each, ^every one O that
which makes manhood!

O


——————————

A Savage and luxuriant strong

Primal

Am Free, luxuriant, [f?]
in            I, come,
an Amer
from Mannahatta
stand in the midst
of The States
speak up for you and
for These States.—

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(Simply

Endless Announcements

nothing more


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Words of America

Free and severe words,
the master's words

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——————————

The mother's, father's,
husband's, wife's,
son's daughter's, words,


——————————

The Proem must have throughout a strong saturation of America, The West, the Geography, the representative American man.


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All that you do g gain
dissipates away

But all that you
do to your body,
mind, morals, lasts
in this sphere and
in other spheres


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Shall grow in the manly
muscle of men and
in the greatness of
perfect women


——————————

I do not say that life
is not beautiful,

But I say that whatever
it is, it all tends to
dr[cut away] the beauty of death.


——————————
[cut away]
——————————

To you, endless endless announcements

To You whoever you are, I
kiss you with lips of
^ real love ^personal


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Premonition

(last verse

? To you, endless announcements!

? To America

Whoever you are, For your sake, these

*

Free, ^fresh and savage, strong,

Cheerful Fluent, luxuriant,
fluent, self-composed—
[cut away] [cut away]persons
[cut away]
[cut away]
I was born fond
of the sea-beach,

In ^In the streets of Mannahatta's I streets walk,ing
and sound thence
^ I sound the strong ^I make poems
of ^for The States.

In Mannahatta's streets walking
I make poems for The States.

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——————————
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*

Free, savage, strong,

Cheerful, luxuriant, fluent,
self-sufficient composed— fond of
my friends, fond of women and children

Fond of fish-shaped Paumanok
Paumanok, where I
was born—fond of
the sea-beach,

From Mannahatta I send
the poems of The States.

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O inter[sect?]twined lands!

O land of athe future!

This

Ahold of hands

These I interhanded Washington's land copious land

The interhanded sStates

O my the lands!

The O ^copious the embracing, interhanded, ^the many-armed, the
knit together, the
passionate lovers, the
fused ones and clasped, the equal
womb-offspring, the
old and young brothers,
the equal world side by side, the
experienced sisters
and the inexperienced
sisters, the equal ones,
the womb-offspring, the
well-attached the
beloved of ages! and of ages! ages!
ages, the inextricable,
the river-tied and the
mountain-tied.

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[illegible]

breezed, the Arc[cut away]
braced, the sea-bosomed,
the Mississippi-drained,
the fresh-breezed, the
ample-land, the wonderful,
the welcome, the inseparable
brothers!

O dear lands! O death!
O I will not desert
you by death be
death be divested discharged severed
from you by death

O I do not care! cannot be severed! I
will yet visit you [still?]
yet with irrepressible love,

O I will visi come
silently and invisibly

Again the

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[cut away]


———

This then is life,

This This Here is what has been come arrived upon the earth, out of then is the earth,
and what has arrived
after
so many throes
and convulsions.—


How curious! How real!

Underfoot, the divine soil—
Overhead, the sun.—


Afford foothold to my poems,
you

Nourish my poems, Earth, and give
them roots, you earth,
for they are your
offspring,

Bedew them, dews, you
spring and summer^dews——shelter

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Philip Holmes

Adirondacks

—to Troy—then in the
cars to Moreau—then
by stage to Glen's Falls—
then by stage to Lake George
—then to Scroon lake—


——————————

I will visit the Texan
in


———

The wal jaunt over the
prairies as welcome as
ever

The banks of the long sail voyage the
Missouri up the
Mississipp


Shine upon them, sun, for they


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them; winter snows, for
they are would make you

Help

Favor them, to yo all you
laws of materials, and
all ponderable things
all of vulgar and rejected
things, for they would
make you illustrious

You mothers

You young women, for
they p ^would announce you
as just ^forever as capable
and eminent as
the young men

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The ^[p?] man or woman of Texans, the Lousianian
the Flori[illegible]dian, the Georgian
the Carolinian, the Mississippian
the Arkansian, the Californian
as much my friend as
ever, and I his friend
^or her friend as much as ever,

Oregon as much mine as
ever,

^you Mannahatta! Mannahatta!
Mannahatta! still close,
as ever! O close! close to me!

O The man of Ohioan and woman of Ohio as close real
to me as ever

The Kentuckian my for me and I for him as much as ever

Wisconsin, Iowa
Michigan, Illinois,
Indiana, Missouri,
Kansas, Nebraska, Utah,
^Minnesota! for me a as much as ever the same and I
for them as much the same as
ever!

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You old man and old woman;
for they know see would show that
you are no less
admirable, than any

You sexual organs and
acts, for they behold are determined to tell
you with glad
courageous loud
voice, to make
you illustrious,

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The Tennessee-man and
the Tennessee-woman
the same as ever to me no less to me than ever )

Pennsylvania, New-Jersey,
Delaware, Maryland,
Virginia, yet travelled
by me,

The Maine, New-Hampshire,
Vermont, Massachusetts,
Connecticut, Rhode Island,
New York, yet dwelt
in by me,

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——————————

Huron, Erie Mic

Ontario, Erie, Huron,
Michigan, Superior,
yet sailed upon
by me

[cut away]


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To you endless an

To you, these, to
report nature, man,
politics,            from
an American
point of view.

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These are the words of the
master

These

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These shall live abide,

Shall grow in

Shall walk in the streets
Manhnahatta

Shall climb the Alleghenie[cut away]
and

[cut away]


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——————————

As long as the earth
is brown and
solid


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Free, savage, strong

Cheerful, luxuriant, fluent, self-sufficient,

Out from Y fond of the sea-beach, from fond
of slender Paumanok where I was
born,

From Manhattan ^fond of the sea-beach Island I
send the poems of the States.

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Listen to me,

Out from Paumanok, where
I was born, and I recite

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——————————

All is in yourself,

The All things, all thoughts,

Things, thoughts, the stately
shows of the world,
the suns and moons,
the landscape, summer
and winter, the
poems, endearments,

All


——————————
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Free, Savage, and strong,

Primal, ^ arrogant coarse luxuriant, coarse, and
combative, fluent self-sufficient,

A O From Out of from Manhattan Island
I makesend the poems
of The States,

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———
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Fille'd fill'd with such wonders

Over-head, how the splendid the sun!

Under-foot, how the


O divine soil,


Under-foot, O divine soil!

Overhead, O


*

How curious!—How real!

Under-foot, the divine soil!

Overhead, the sun!


How curious

How curious I myself!

Me,

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I understand you, you
bards of other ages and lands

I understand you,bear you in mind, you
ancestors of men.—


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How curious is the brown
wo real earth!

How curious, how
spiritual is the water


——————————

Politics

On the one side pledged
to — — —

On the other side to
— — —

—On the one side— — —
[illegible]


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Lo! the ships sailing!

Lo, the the interminable intersecting
streets in cities, full
of living people, coming
and going!

Lo, where iron and steam
so grand, so welcome!

Lo, [th?]


———

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Forever and Thy soul!

To c[ons?]

Forever and forever, as long longer
as the than soilground is brown and solid, as longer
as than water ebbs and
flows

They gi shall duly give place, ^in a few ^their order of millions of years— but
you O my soul shall never
give place!


——————————
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*

Life,—how curious! how real

Space, ^and time, filled with such
easy wonders!

To walk, to breathe, how delicious

The daylig day; these the
curious; divine,
animals, identity,
eyesight!

Underfoot, the divine
soil,

Overhead, the sun.


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[illegible]
to ^ shall ought to deserves receive more than
you, and never can deserve

I do not forget fail to
salute you with my hand and neck, you
poets of all ages
and lands,

I do not forget to bless
any one of you, you fallen
nations, to bless you— —nor any
one of you, you
ancestors of men

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——————————

How real is the ground!
Come let us p set
our feet upon the
ground;

How perfect and beautiful
are the animals!

How vas

How much room, and
splendor! How inevitable
How vast and spacious!


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[illegible]
my ancestors , of man

Nor you, you you the
old poets


I do not forget to salute
you, you old you poets,
of all times ages and
lands,

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Do you not know [that?]
the your soul has brothers
and sisters, just as
much as the your body
has?


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This then, is life, and
This the earth,—


How curious! How real.

Underfoot the divine soil,—

Ooverhead, the sun


Surround? these my poems, you
east and west, for
they are for you

And you north and
south, for they are
for you,

Imbue them, nights, for
they are (of you, and)
for you,

And you, days, for they
are for you.—

So


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Great ideas dominate
over all—


———

What has Shakespeare
done to England?


———

Not — — not — — —
are of any account
compared to the
few men of great
ideas


———

Even One great idea vitalizes
a nation


———

—Men of great ideas


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You

Personality!

Your Personality! You
and whoever you are?

O you coward that
dare not claim
be audacious for
your own sake!

O you liar that
falsely assume to
be modest and
deferential

O you slave

—O you ^tongueless, eyeless, earelless,

—O you           that
will not receive me
for your own sake


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Personality!

You! whoever you are!
without one single
exception, in any
part of any of These
States!

I seize ? you with st
free and severe you
hand—I know well,
whoever you are, you are my equal,
and the President's
equal,—and that there
is no one on this
globe and any better
g greater than you—
and that there is
no existence in all
the universes any more
immortal than your,


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In Poem

The earth, that is my model of poems
modelI do not ? none need
discard what I
find in the theory
of the great, round diversified
earth, so beautiful, and
so rude.

The body of a man, that
I is my model—I do
not reject what I
find in my body—I
am not ashamed—Why
should I be ashamed?

The body of a woman,
that is my perfect
model—I believe
in all the body of
the woman—I believe
the perfect woman
shall even precede
the man


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Poem of Maternity


———

O my dear child! My
Darling

(Now I am maternal—
a child bearer—
I bea have from
my womb borne
a child, and
observe it

For great ideas!

The life that is not
underlaid by great
ideas is — —


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For friendship:

— — — —

For immortality:

— — — —


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Dwelling neighbor to the nigh the Ohioan
and Kentuckian, a
friendly neighbor,

W Sauntering the streets of
Boston, Portland,
long list of cities
[cut away]


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[begin hashmark section]

* National hymns,
The freeman's and freewoman's
songs,

The master's words, strong arrogant,
lawless, fluent, severe.—

[end hashmark section]

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? For your own sake

To stand fast by me!

To stand unshaken, and
tenacious, —to

To believe in me—no
matter


———

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——————————

Have you any doubt of mortality?

I say there can be no more
doubt of immortality than
there is of mortality


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The observer stand some clear day on the northeast height of Washington Park, some yclear day in the year 1900, (the           ofyear of These States,) will look on


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Primer of Words
and Th and
Thoughts
Ideas
Principles

                                                                                       (none of these suit


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American songs,—in which prose (to be spoken—with a low, or other musical accompaniment,) is interlineated


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[cut away]


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I had rather have the good will of the butchers and boatmen of Manhattan Island than all the nominations approbation rewards of the government—literats elegant persons

Jake


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Sam Matthews

Walt Whitman stands to-day in the midst of the American people, a promise, a preface, an overture a

Will he fulfil the half-distinct half-indistinct promise?—Many do not understand him, but there are others, a few, who do understand him.[illegible] Will he justify the great prophecy of Emerson? or will he too, like thousands of others, flaunt out the one bright commencement, the result of gathered powers, only to sink back exhausted—or to give himself up to the seduction of


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"Ancient Hebrews"

by Abm. Mills

A. S. Barnes & Co.


——————————

"Glimpses of Life and Manners
in Persia"

by Lady Sheil

with notes on Russia, Koords,
Turkomans, Nestorians,

(refers to 1849)


——————————

Mrs Ty[ne?]dale

at Mrs. Manning's

at in Clinton av.

near De Kalb

nearly opposite the church


——————————

Dr. Draper's Physiology

(Harper
last 2 no's
Harper)


——————————

Brownlow's Map of the Stars

184 Cherry st.


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A. Brownson Alcott

Oct. 4th '56


——————————

Jas. Metcalf

79 Warren st. (station house)


——————————

Mr. Held

4 Boerum

near Fulton av.


——————————

Clerke's Rudiments
& Practice

1 vol.


———

Comic Blackstone


——————————

Prof Wines'

Commentaries on the
Hebrew Law


——————————

Montesquieu

Spirit of the Laws


——————————

Robert Hunt's

"Poetry of Science"


——————————

Poetry of the East

Pub. Whittemore, Niles, & Hall

Boston


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16th Sept—b


——————————

J.L. Metcalf

3d district station house

3d ward 79 Warren


——————————

Organism of Language

Becker's

Translated into English


——————————

Grimm's work in German Language


——————————

W. Gibson

363 Sixth av


——————————

Middlesex House

Concord, Mass


——————————

Dr. Ruggles

24 East Warren


——————————

Wilson

4 Greene near Cumberlan

1 door


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