In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

Table of Contents
Color Key

leaf 1 recto

[Does not To-Day Time's]

Does not To-Day Time's
        harvest seem?
The work of the past, the
        tillage accomplish'd;
And ours to gather and
        use the yield.
After all, less to create
        than we thought
Still less to destroy is the
        mission of the New World[.?]
[paper glued]
After all, ^indeed, is there—can there
         ^really be any New world?
leaf 1 verso

This manuscript was likely written in 1871 after Whitman accepted the invitation from the American Institute to compose and recite a poem at the opening of its fortieth Annual Exhibition in New York City. Whitman read the poem on September 7, 1871, and it was published soon after that in several newspapers and in a small book.
Editorial note
This manuscript relates to the poem first published as "After All, Not to Create Only" in 1871. The poem was ultimately titled "Song of the Exposition." This manuscript seems to be thematically related to what became section 1 in the final version of the poem.
After All Not to Create Only  |  The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Whitman Archive ID


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