In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

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[Leaf 1 recto]

As of Forms.—

Their genesis, all genesis,
They lost, all lost—for
        they include all.—
The earth and every thing in it,
The wave, the snake, the babe, the
        landscape, the human head,
Things, faces, reminiscences, presences,
        conditions, thoughts—sSuch tally
        in the soul to ^and make definite a divine in‑
        distinct, spiritual delight in
        the sSoul.—
Of the arts, as music, poems, ar‑
        chitecture, outlines, and the rest,
        they are in their way to provoke
        this delight out of the soul,
They are to seek it where it waits—
        for I see that it always pa‑
        tiently waits.—
Have you sought after [for?] the inkling?
Have you wandered far after your
        inkling of the meanings of the
        earth? You need not wander;
Behold those forms.—

This manuscript was probably written between 1856 and 1860, when Whitman was working on the poems for the third edition of Leaves of Grass.
Editorial note
"As of Forms" was never published in Whitman's lifetime.
As of Forms. (MSS 3829)  |  Papers of Walt Whitman, Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
Whitman Archive ID


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