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Title: Red Jacket (from Aloft)

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: October 10, 1884

Publication information: The Philadelphia Press 10 October 1884: 4.

Source: Our transcription is based on a digital image of a microfilm copy of an original issue.

Whitman Archive ID: per.00069

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, April Lambert, and Susan Belasco




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RED JACKET (FROM ALOFT.)1

[Impromptu on Buffalo City's commemoration of and monument to the old Iroquois orator, October 9, 1884.]

Upon this scene, this show,
Yielded to-day by fashion, learning, wealth,
(Nor in caprice alone—some grains of deepest
meaning,)
Haply, aloft, (who knows?) from distant
sky-clouds' blended shapes,
As some old tree, or rock or cliff, thrill'd
with its soul,
Product of Nature's sun, stars, earth direct—
a towering human form,
In hunting-shirt of film, arm'd with the
rifle, a half-ironical smile curving its
phantom lips,
Like one of Ossian's ghosts looks down.
WALT WHITMAN.
Camden, N.J., Oct. 9, 1884.

Notes:

1. Reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). [back]


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