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Catalog of the Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in the Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Processed by: Melissa Delbridge and Daniel Breen; machine-readable finding aid created by: Michael Shumate and Elizabeth Arnold; revised and expanded by the Walt Whitman Archive and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Encoded Archival Description completed with the assistance of the Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation, the University of Nebraska Research Council, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.




Individual items at this repository

  • Whitman Archive Title: The most Jubilant Triumphant Poem
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00265
  • Repository ID: MS q 29
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Manuscript with ideas for a poem meant to express different forms of "great jubilant glee." The connection between this manuscript and Whitman's published works is unknown. This fragment has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "Poem of a proud."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem of a proud
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00266
  • Repository ID: MS q 29
  • Date: before 1861
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Manuscript with ideas for a poem of "joyous expression" about Manhattan, of which the connection to Whitman's published work is unknown. This fragment has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "The most Jubilant Triumphant Poem." An image of the verso is not available.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem of the Black Person
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00267
  • Repository ID: MS q 29
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Manuscript with ideas for a poem expressing the "sentiment" of a "sweeping . . . protection of the blacks." It seems that no such poem ever emerged.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem [There can be no greatest]
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00268
  • Repository ID: MS q 29
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Notes toward a poem comparing the progress of "the divine man" to the geological development of the earth, of which the connection to Whitman's published works is unknown.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem of Poets (now) in all lands
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00269
  • Repository ID: MS q 29
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Manuscript with notes for a poem to describe "the poetical sentiments in all lands," of which the connection to Whitman's published work is unknown. This fragment has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "Poem (bequeathing to others a charge) what poems are wanted."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem (bequeathing to others a charge) what poems are wanted
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00270
  • Repository ID: MS q 29
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Manuscript with idea for a poem to include "a long list" drawn from other (unidentified) manuscript scraps. This fragment has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "Poem of Poets (now) in all lands." An image of the verso is unavailable.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem of "(the Devil
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00273
  • Repository ID: MS q 29
  • Date: 1865 or before
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This note for a poem about the devil is possibly related to the poem "Chanting the Square Deific," which was first published in 1865. The scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "And there a hunter's camp," "(written for the voice)," and "Poem of Sadness."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem of Language
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00251
  • Repository ID: MS q 30
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Manuscript containing ideas for a poem about the variety of languages and sounds. This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "Whole Poem." An image of the verso is unavailable.

  • Whitman Archive Title: —Poem of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00253
  • Repository ID: MS q 30
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: List of ideas for poems, mostly about various states. This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "To the English." An image of the verso is unavailable.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem of Fruits & Flowers
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00255
  • Repository ID: MS q 30
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: Ideas for three different poems about various topics. This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "Poem of Wisconsin." An image of the verso is unavailable.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem of Wisconsin
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00308
  • Repository ID: MS q 30
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: List of ideas for poems, mostly about various states, including an allusion to a possible "Western Edition." This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "Poem of Fruits & Flowers," and an image of the verso is unavailable.

  • Whitman Archive Title: ? Poem of the Husband
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00281
  • Repository ID: MS q 31
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: List of ideas for poems about "the husband," "the wife," and "marriage." This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "A poem which more."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Secrets.—Secreta
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00283
  • Repository ID: MS q 31
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Ideas for two poems, one listing "all the things done in secret," and the other involving a "vocabularium" of words and phrases. This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "Religious Canticles."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem ante-dating
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00288
  • Repository ID: MS q 31
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Manuscript idea for a poem that would prophesy the "great results" to be had "a hundred years hence." This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "An After Thought or Two" and "Poem, as in a rapt and."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem [?The Cruise]
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00291
  • Repository ID: MS q 31
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Scrap with what are apparently two trial versions of a title. This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "Poem L'Envoy," "Banjo Poem," and "of Death—the song."

  • Whitman Archive Title: A poem in which is
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00299
  • Repository ID: MS q 33
  • Date: 1856 or before
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Notes for a poem about "a first-rate healthy Human Body," possibly related to "I Sing the Body Electric," which was first published as the fifth poem of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass and substantially revised (as "Poem of the Body") in 1856.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Remember in Scientific
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00300
  • Repository ID: MS q 33
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Two reminders about general principles Whitman had decided upon for future poems. This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "a volume."

  • Whitman Archive Title: a volume
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00301
  • Repository ID: MS q 33
  • Date: before 1860
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Note suggesting a piece of writing to span "the whole range of recorded time," possibly related to "With Antecedents," which was first published in the New-York Saturday Press (1860) as "You and Me and To-day." The poem was revised as "Chants Democratic. 7" in Leaves of Grass (1860–1861) and took its final title, "With Antecedents," in the 1867 Leaves . This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "Remember in Scientific."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Breath and Spray
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00306
  • Repository ID: MS q 33
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: List of what appear to be possible titles for volumes or clusters of poems.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poemet
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00307
  • Repository ID: MS q 33
  • Date: 1860 or before
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Lists of synonyms for "poem."

  • Whitman Archive Title: I am that halfgrown angry boy
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00027
  • Repository ID: MS q 25
  • Date: Before 1855
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Poetry manuscript left unpublished by Whitman, containing ideas potentially connected with the unpublished short story "Of a summer evening" (duk.00097). On the reverse (duk.00885) is a fragment of an essay regarding municipal legislation.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Outdoors is the best antiseptic
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00297
  • Repository ID: MS q 32
  • Date: Before or early in 1855
  • Genre: prose, poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This prose fragment extols the virtues of outdoor living and the appeal of physical laborers who work outdoors. Similar ideas are found throughout Leaves of Grass . The following lines in the poem that was eventually titled "Song of Myself" echoes the first two sentences of this manuscript: "I am enamoured of growing outdoors, / Of men that live among cattle or taste of the ocean or woods, / Of the builders and steerers of ships, of the wielders of axes and mauls, of the drivers of horses" (1855, p. 21). The first part of this prose fragment also may relate to the following line from the preface to the 1855 Leaves of Grass : "The passionate tenacity of hunters, woodmen, early risers, cultivators of gardens and orchards and fields, the love of healthy women for the manly form, seafaring persons, drivers of horses, the passion for light and the open air, all is an old varied sign of the unfailing perception of beauty and of a residence of the poetic in outdoor people" (p. v). The transcription of the manuscript published in Notes and Fragments , ed. Richard Maurice Bucke (London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., printers, 1899), 152, includes additional text not now present in the manuscript that may also connect it to the following line in the poem eventually titled "I Sing the Body Electric": "Do you think they are not there because they are not expressed in parlors and lecture-rooms?" (1855, p. 81). Edward Grier claims that this manuscript was, at one time, pinned together with another manuscript ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:169; see duk.00296).

  • Whitman Archive Title: Of a summer evening a
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00097
  • Repository Title: Of a summer evening a boy fell asleep
  • Date: Before 1850
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 5 leaves, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
  • Content: Some of the language in this short piece of fiction also appears in the draft poem "I am that half-grown angry boy" (duk.00027). It is not possible to know with certainty whether Whitman wrote the prose or the poetic lines first. However, Whitman's usual practice of composition suggests that the prose preceded the verse. The prose is maudlin, sentimental, and conventional. The verse, though undeveloped, shows more evidence of experimentation, again suggesting a later stage in the composition process. Based on the handwriting, Edward Grier dates this manuscript to the late 1840s ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:46).

  • Whitman Archive Title: distinctness every syllable the flounderer
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00119
  • Repository Title: distinctness every syllable the flounderer spoke
  • Date: 1840s or early 1850s
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Richard Maurice Bucke, one of Whitman's literary executors, first printed this manuscript in Notes and Fragments (London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., 1899). There, Bucke notes that this manuscript likely dates from the "40's or early '50's" (116). It is possibly a draft of an early piece of fiction, but no connection to Whitman's known published works has been established.

  • Whitman Archive Title: This singular young man
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00120
  • Repository Title: "This singular young man was unnoted for any strong qualities"
  • Date: 1840s or early 1850s
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 2 leaves, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
  • Content: This manuscript was first printed, in two separate segments, in Richard Maurice Bucke's Notes and Fragments (London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., 1899, 114–115, 116–117. Bucke dates the manuscript to the 1840s. It is possibly a draft of an early piece of fiction, but no connection to Whitman's known published works has been established.

  • Whitman Archive Title: Sculpture
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00148
  • Repository Title: Sculpture
  • Date: 1840s or 1850s
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: These notes about sculpture have some similarity to a line in the 1855 poem eventually titled "A Song for Occupations." Edward Grier notes that the "writing seems to be that of the early notebooks; thus the date might be in the 1850s" ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 6:2033).

  • Whitman Archive Title: Municipal legislation
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00885
  • Repository Title: I am that half grown angry boy
  • Date: Between 1840 and 1860
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Based on the handwriting, Edward Grier dates this manuscript to the 1840s or 1850s. He also notes that this manuscript did not contribute to the editorial entitled "Municipal Government" that appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Times on December 1, 1858 ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:345). On the reverse side (duk.00027) is a poetry manuscript containing ideas possibly connected to Whitman's unpublished short story "Of a summer evening."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Wants
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00150
  • Repository Title: Wants (Autograph MS, draft portions of an essay on labor advertisements)
  • Date: Between 1841 and 1862
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 7 leaves, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14
  • Content: This manuscript appears to be a draft of a piece of journalism, although it is not known if the piece was ever published. While Whitman wrote journalistic pieces throughout his life, the handwriting, ink, and paper are most consistent with manuscripts known to have been written before the first appearance of Leaves of Grass in 1855. Edward Grier details some of the reasons for beilieving the manuscript to date to between 1841 and 1862 in Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts (New York: New York University Press, 1984), 1:88.

  • Whitman Archive Title: 'The Scout'
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00276
  • Repository ID: MS q 29
  • Date: about 1855 or later
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Manuscript suggesting "The Scout" as a good title for a poem, magazine, or newspaper. No connection to Whitman's published work is known. This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "And there," "Drops of my Blood," and "In a poem make the."

  • Whitman Archive Title: A poem which more
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00280
  • Repository ID: MS q 31
  • Date: 1845–1892
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Manuscript note for a poem addressing Whitman's future readers. This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "? Poem of the Husband."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Banjo Poem
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00290
  • Repository ID: MS q 31
  • Date: 1845–1892
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Scrap with just two words, apparently a trial title. This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "Poem L'Envoy," "Poem [?The Cruise]," and "of Death—the song."

  • Whitman Archive Title: of Death—the song
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00292
  • Repository ID: MS q 31
  • Date: 1845–1892
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Idea for a poem about death, immortality, and "ensemble." It is unclear whether and how this manuscript is related to Whitman's published poetry. This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "Poem L'Envoy," "Banjo Poem," and "Poem [?The Cruise]."

  • Whitman Archive Title: What we call literature is
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00295
  • Repository ID: MS q 32
  • Date: 1850s
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Prose manuscript expressing the belief that human existence possesses a grandeur that surpasses artistic accomplishments. It is unclear whether this manuscript is related to Whitman's published poetry or prose. Based on the appearance of a transcription of this manuscript with transcriptions of other early manuscripts in Richard Maurice Bucke's Notes and Fragments (1899), Edward Grier dates it to the 1850s ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 4:1558). The handwriting and the paper also would suggest an early date.

  • Whitman Archive Title: poet of Materialism
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00104
  • Repository ID: MS q 44
  • Date: 1855 or earlier
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Manuscript expressing a belief in the continuing "amelioration" of the earth and humankind, written on a scrap of wallpaper. Although it is cast in prose, this may be an early draft of a group of lines, expressing similar thoughts, in "Great Are the Myths," which was first published as the final, untitled, poem of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass . It also bears some resemblance to lines that appeared in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." Whitman continued to revise the poem in later editions of Leaves of Grass. In the 1881–1882 edition, Whitman removed "Great Are the Myths" from Leaves of Grass altogether, except for four lines, which he titled "Youth, Day, Old Age, and Night."

  • Whitman Archive Title: It seems to me
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00302
  • Repository ID: MS q 33
  • Date: Between 1847 and 1855
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Note expressing an admonition to avoid similes and ornament in poetry, possibly related to passages in the prose preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass , which express similar sentiments. This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "What shall the great poet be then?," "The most superb beauties," and "Make no quotations."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Make no quotations
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00305
  • Repository ID: MS q 33
  • Date: Between 1847 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Notes, or possibly trial lines, articulating various beliefs about how to write. Edward Grier speculates, based on the style and content, that this manuscript probably dates to between 1847 and 1855 ( Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:159). This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "It seems to me," "What shall the great poet be then?," and "The most superb beauties."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Poem of Young Men
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00285
  • Repository ID: MS q 31
  • Date: 1856 or before
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Manuscript with ideas for a poem, possibly "Salut Au Monde!" which was first published in 1856 as "Poem of Salutation." This scrap has been attached by a collector or archivist to a backing sheet, together with "Companions."

  • Whitman Archive Title: is rougher than it was
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00786
  • Repository ID: MS f 129
  • Date: between 1848 and 1855
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: A manuscript page containing notes from Whitman's return trip from New Orleans in 1848. This page of notes, numbered "2," describes the journey across Lake Erie; Whitman's visits to Buffalo, Albany, and Niagara Falls; and his arrival at Brooklyn. The notes would later be used as the basis for an article entitled "New Orleans in 1848" that appeared in the New Orleans Picayune on January 25, 1887. The article was reprinted in November Boughs . On the reverse are manuscript notes about Whitman's family history, likely written in the mid-1850s.

  • Whitman Archive Title: wooding at night
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00790
  • Repository ID: MS q 111
  • Date: between 1848 and 1887
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 2 leaves, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
  • Content: Manuscript that chronicles part of Whitman's return journey from New Orleans in 1848. The descriptions of the "[l]ong monotonous stretch of the Mississippi" and the "[p]ainful effect of the excessive flatness of the country" found their way, in an altered form, into "New Orleans in 1848," an article that appeared in the New Orleans Picayune on January 25, 1887. The article was later reprinted in November Boughs .

  • Whitman Archive Title: The Great Laws do not treasure chips
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00264
  • Repository ID: MS q 9
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This manuscript includes language similar to lines that appeared in two of the poems in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass , later titled "A Song for Occupations" and "Who Learns My Lesson Complete?" On the reverse (duk.00905) are cancelled lines, beginning "hands are cut," which later appeared, in a revised form, in "Faces," which was originally published as the sixth untitled poem of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass.

  • Whitman Archive Title: hands are cut by the
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00905
  • Repository ID: MS q 9
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This manuscript contains draft lines that later appeared in a revised form in the sixth poem of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass , eventually titled "Faces." On the reverse (duk.00264) are lines which, after revision, appeared in the eleventh poem in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass , later titled "Who Learns My Lesson Complete?"

  • Whitman Archive Title: Great are the myths
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00259
  • Repository ID: MS q 10
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: These lines are a draft of the following lines in the twelfth poem of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass , a poem that was later titled "Great Are the Myths": "GREAT are the myths . . . . I too delight in them, / Great are Adam and Eve . . . . I too look back and accept them; / Great the risen and fallen nations, and their poets, women, sages, inventors, rulers, warriors and priests." (1855, p. 93). The poem went through many revisions through the different editions of Leaves of Grass , then was permanently dropped in 1881–1882, except the two couplets that became the poem "Youth, Day, Old Age, and Night." The reverse of the manuscript (duk.00938) has cancelled prose beginning "The true friends of the Sabbath."

  • Whitman Archive Title: The true friends of the
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00938
  • Repository ID: MS q 10
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1854
  • Genre: prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This manuscript is a partial draft of "Memorial in Behalf of a Freer Municipal Government, and Against Sunday Restrictions," a public letter printed in the Brooklyn Star on October 20, 1854. Whitman probably drafted the manuscript shortly before the piece was published. On the reverse (duk.00259) are draft lines that contributed to the final poem of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass , later titled "Great Are the Myths."

  • Whitman Archive Title: You lusty and graceflu youth
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00032
  • Repository ID: MS q 11
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: An early version of a part of "Great Are the Myths," a poem first published, untitled, as the concluding poem in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass , and again in the 1856 edition as "Poem of a Few Greatnesses." The poem went through many revisions through the different editions of Leaves of Grass , then was permanently dropped in 1881–1882, except the two couplets that became the poem "Youth, Day, Old Age, and Night." On the reverse (duk.00889) is partially cancelled verse beginning "Are the prostitutes nothing?" which includes a draft of a line from the third poem in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass , ultimately called "To Think of Time."

  • Whitman Archive Title: All that we are
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00023
  • Repository ID: II-5 21
  • Date: undated
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Draft of fifteen lines of poetry, first published only after Whitman's death in Notes and Fragments (1899). The last three lines on this manuscript leaf appear in another version in a long manuscript, "Pictures," which probably dates to the 1850s and is held at the Beinecke Library, Yale.

  • Whitman Archive Title: It is no miracle now
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00007
  • Repository ID: MS q 3
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: This manuscript draft may have contributed to lines in the poem that eventually would be titled "Song of Myself," which first appeared in Leaves of Grass (1855). The clearest relation is to the line: "A minute and a drop of me settle my brain" (1855, p. 33), but the lines about touch and death also relate to ideas in sections 6 and 27-30 of the final version of the poem. In the 1856 edition it was titled "Poem of Walt Whitman, an American," and Whitman shortened the title to "Walt Whitman" in 1860–1861. The final title, "Song of Myself," was not introduced until the 1881–1882 edition of Leaves . The reverse side of the leaf (duk.00797 contains prose writing related to a different section of the same poem.

  • Whitman Archive Title: After all is said and
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00797
  • Repository ID: MS q 3
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: prose, poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: The second paragraph of this prose manuscript contains lines which appeared in a slightly altered form in the first poem of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass . The poem was later divided into numbered sections and titled "Song of Myself"; the lines here appeared in section 4. The second paragraph also bears a distant resemblance to a line in the poem eventually titled "Faces" and to a line in the poem eventually titled "Song of the Answerer." The reverse side of this manuscript leaf (duk.00007) contains lines related to other sections of "Song of Myself."

  • Whitman Archive Title: Light and air
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00260
  • Repository ID: MS q 4
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . Language from the manuscript appears in the first poem of that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." The phrase "light and air" also appears in the fourth poem of that edition, eventually titled "The Sleepers." The supplied first line, beginning "Under this rank coverlid," was added to a transcription of the manuscript that appears in Notes and Fragments , ed. Richard Maurice Bucke (London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., printers, 1899), 16. The line is not currently written on the manuscript.

  • Whitman Archive Title: I know as well as
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00051
  • Repository ID: MS q 5
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: A manuscript draft treating ideas about divine revelation. Lines from this manuscript appear in the first poem in the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass. In its final version the poem was titled "Song of Myself," and the relevant lines appeared in section 41. The ideas and some of the language are also similar to other early manuscripts that relate to the second poem in the 1855 edition of Leaves , ultimately titled "A Song for Occupations," and part of a cluster titled "Debris" that appeared in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass (see loc.00013, uva.00251, and duk.00261). The reverse (duk.00887) contains notes, dated March 20th '54, about the characters and physical traits of several men that Whitman met in his travels.

  • Whitman Archive Title: [Fa]bles, traditions, and
  • Whitman Archive ID: duk.00261
  • Repository ID: MS q 6
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1855
  • Genre: poetry, prose
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1 | 2
  • Content: The ideas and language in this manuscript relate to the first poem in 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass , eventually titled "Song of Myself." This connection is reinforced by the supplied first line, added to a transcription of the manuscript that appears in Notes and Fragments , ed. Richard Maurice Bucke (London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., printers, 1899): "foot to fee lawyers for his brother and sit by him while he was tried for forgery" (47). This line, which matches a line in the 1855 version of "Song of Myself," is not currently written on the manuscript. In language, ideas, and structure, the last few lines of this manuscript also resemble lines 39–43 in the untitled fourteenth poem of the "Debris" cluster of the 1860–1861 edition of Leaves of Grass . The manuscript is also similar to other early manuscripts that relate to these poems and to the second poem in the 1855 edition of Leaves , eventually titled "A Song for Occupations" (see loc.00013 ["Priests"], uva.00251 ["Do I not prove myself"], and duk.00051 ["I know as well as"]). The reverse (duk.00800) contains unrelated prose writing, including a line similar to one found in "Song of Myself."

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