In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

Table of Contents
Color Key

[Leaf 1 recto]
ad Sheridan
Put this in the day of Sheridan's burial ceremonies—Personal
proof reader please by copy
[wrap?] lead

Funeral Sounds not in Interpolations.

Over and through the burial chant,
Organ and solemn service, sermon, bending
To one come stealing- ^interpolation-sounds not in the show—
        plainly to me all through athwart ^crowding up the aisle
        and ^from the window, sounding,
Of sudden battle's hurry and harsh noises—
        war's, war's grim game to sight and
        ear in earnest,
The scout call'd up ^and forward——the General ^mounted, and his
        aids ^around him——the new-brought word—the
        instantaneous order issued;
The rifle-crack—the cannon thud—the
        rushing-forth of men from their tents,
The clank of cavalry—the strange celerity
        of forming ranks,—the slender bugle note;
The sound of horses' hoofs departing—saddles
        arms, accoutrements.
                                                Walt Whitman
[Leaf 1 verso]  

This manuscript was at least partially composed between August 5 and August 11, 1888. General Philip Henry Sheridan died on August 5, 1888, and Whitman composed this poem as a response to his death. The note at the top of the manuscript, which is crossed out in blue pencil, notes that Whitman wanted this poem published the day of Sheridan's funeral ceremonies, held on August 11, 1888. Some of the revisions, particularly those in blue pencil, were quite possibly made after that date.
Editorial note
This manuscript is a printer's copy of the poem first published as "Over and Through the Burial Chant" in the New York Herald on August 12, 1888. The poem was later retitled "Interpolation Sounds."
Notes written on manuscript
In top margin, in unknown hand: 533.
In bottom margin, in unknown hand: H.G. 156.
In unknown hand: H.G. 156.
Funeral Interpolations  |  Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Whitman Archive ID


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.