In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

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leaf 1 recto

[Silent in far-off Egypt the broken-lipp'd]

Silent in far-off Egypt the broken-lipp'd Egyptian
        Sphynx — silent the mighty
        Egyptian to far-off tombs of
        Egypt — and yet how
        solemnly eloquent—
        eloquent, century-baffling
leaf 1 verso

This manuscript was probably 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 on that date in the New York Evening Post and on subsequent days in at least eight other newspapers.
Editorial note
This manuscript contains a drafted line of a poem published as "After All, Not to Create Only" first in newspapers and then as a book with the same title in 1871. The poem was ultimately titled "Song of the Exposition." This manuscript relates to line 39 in the final version of Leaves of Grass.
After All Not to Create Only  |  The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
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