In Whitman's Hand
[By day the distant]
|By day the distant, ? shadowy |
| sails, the steamers' pennant|
| trails of smoke|
|Some vast soul, like a planet's,|
| bound, arrested, tied, |
|Watching the distant, shadowy sails,|
|My sight and senses given to|
| to thee—the saline smell —thy ? odor,|
|Th|ey distant shadowy sails—the
| steamers' pennant-trails of|
|The flying soaring gull hawks and flocks|
- This manuscript was probably written in October, 1883. The postmarks on the verso are dated October 11 and 12, 1883, and Whitman's visit to Ocean Grove, New Jersey, in September and October of 1883 was the inspiration for the poem.
- Editorial note
- This manuscript is likely an early draft of "With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea!" a poem published first in Harper's Monthly, March 1884.
- The manuscript is written on the inside of an envelope opened up. The verso bears the address "Mr. Walt Whitman, Camden, New Jersey."
- By Day the Distant Shadowy Sails | The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
- Whitman Archive ID