In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: The new theologies

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Before or early in 1855

Whitman Archive ID: med.00746

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts, ed. Edward F. Grier (New York: New York University Press, 1984), 6:2043. Grier based his text on Walt Whitman's Workshop, ed. Clifton J. Furness (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1928), 43. The location of this manuscript is unknown. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This manuscript includes lines that appeared, in a slightly altered form, in the Preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass, and later in the poem eventually titled "By Blue Ontario's Shore," first published in the 1856 edition of Leaves as "Poem of Many in One." The date of the manuscript is therefore probably before or early in 1855.

Contributors to digital file: Kirsten Clawson, Janel Cayer, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, and Kenneth M. Price

The new theologies bring forward man—There is nothing in the universe any more divine than man. All gathers to the worship of man—How awful, how beautiful a being—How full of Gods is the world—There are none greater than these present ones—Why has it been taught that there is only one Supreme?—I say there are and must be myriads of Supremes. I say that that is blasphemous petty and infidel which denies any immortal soul to be eligible to advance onward to be as supreme as any—I say that all goes on to be eligible to become one of the Supremes—


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