In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

Table of Contents
Color Key

leaf 1 recto
the idea of the necessity of contact with the earth
—☞ The virtue there
—the necessity of lpersonal labor at some trade

An apostrophe to Earth

the The only virtue thou thee & thine!
The al
They odor of thy the grass &
        soil and woods
They labor with the spade
        & axe &
Thy sail and oar
leaf 1 verso

This manuscript was likely written in 1871 after Whitman accepted an 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."
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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