In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

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leaf 1 recto

[Thou shamest all the]

Thou shamest all the
For well ^O soul I Know
All the pomp & shows
        & products proud,
Buldings, and art gorgeous
A breath
A tuft of grass, or breath
        of the free wind.
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 relates to the poem first published as "After All, Not to Create Only" and ultimately entitled "Song of the Exposition." This manuscript seems to have a loose relationship to what became section 5 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.
Whitman Archive ID


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