Contemporary Reviews

About this Item

Title: New Books

Creator: unknown [unsigned in original]

Date: May 26, 1860

Whitman Archive ID: anc.02004

Source: Boston Saturday Evening Gazette [unknown] (26 May 1860): 2. The electronic text for this file was prepared by Whitman Archive staff, who transcribed the text from a representation of the original (e.g., digital scan or other electronic reproduction, microfilm copy). For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the reviews, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Ashley Lawson, Kyle Barton, Janel Cayer, and Elizabeth Lorang



Look here, Walt Whitman, what made you write this book, these Leaves of Grass, full of good thoughts, bad thoughts, naughty thoughts, noble thoughts.
Ideas politic, impolitic, incomprehensible, insane, inexpressive, impure, invigorating, infuscatable, and infoliate.
Did you do it to make pennies, dimes, dollars, eagles, spondulics, rhino,
That Walt Whitman—human Walt, might row, ride, riot, regale, recuperate, refocilate—
At Hull, Hingham, Nahant, Newport, Rye, Niagara, Shirley, Long Island, Cohasset, Bergen Point, Cape May, or the Mountains called White?
Perhaps you did, but then again perhaps you didn’t, for the didn’t is resumptive in this world.
And you are anti-resumptive, reticular, responsive and restringent.
You’ve made a book, it can’t be rubbed out for it is a fact.
Rub out the stars, Declaration of Independence, habeas corpus, magna charta, squatter sovereignty, little Giant, old Abe.
Rub out sun, moon, clouds, streams, Board of Aldermen, Japanese Embassy, lapstreak, shell, canoe,
Rub out Boston Common, Battery, Girard College, Old Man of the Mountain, Franklin street, horse railroads, Baltimore Convention,
But rub out Leaves of Grass—456 pages, electro-typed, beautiful print, fine type, elegant binding, seemly, comely, white paper—published by Thayer & Eldridge,—it cannot be did.


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

Support the Archive | About the Archive

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