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(Poem) Shadows

  • Whitman Archive Title: (Poem) Shadows
  • Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00119
  • Repository: Catalog of the Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, The New York Public Library
  • Repository Title: (Poem) ? Reflections Shadows
  • Date: Between 1850 and 1865
  • Genre: poetry
  • Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
  • View Images: 1
  • Content: This manuscript may have been written between 1850 and 1855, when Whitman was preparing materials for the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass . The description of the plate-glass windows on Broadway bears some resemblance to a description in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." This manuscript also bears a distant resemblance to a discussion of "shadows" in the poem later titled "There Was a Child Went Forth." It is also possible that the manuscript was written later, however: the description of Broadway in these lines also closely resembles a description Whitman wrote in his unfinished poem known as "The Two Vaults," a poem that is recorded in a New York notebook (loc.00348) that probably dates to the early 1860s. Whitman also wrote about Broadway elsewhere in later poems, so the manuscript may have been written still later. The manuscript has been pasted down, so an image of the back of the leaf is currently unavailable.

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