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Walt Whitman to Charles S. Myrick, July 1888


(for1 page 37)

Put "the Dismantled Ship" at top (tr from last p)2 then "Now Precedent Songs Farewell" "An Evening Call" then the note3 at bottom sm type & send me proof to see it (to add to or detract)


Charles S. Myrick was the foreman in Ferguson Brothers printing plant, which printed both November Boughs and the 1889 edition of Leaves of Grass.


  • 1. In a note at the foot of page 37 of November Boughs, Whitman claims that both "Now Precedent Songs Farewell" and "An Evening Lull" were "eked out" one afternoon in June 1888. He read proof on November Boughs between July 18 and July 25, making changes such as those requested in this letter. For more on the context, see Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Tuesday, July 17, 1888, and Whitman's letter to Richard Maurice Bucke of July 25, 1888. On July 31, he wrote John Burroughs that he had "finished (sent all copy) my little Nov: Boughs." The estimated date of this letter is based on Whitman's completion of the proofs of November Boughs. [back]
  • 2. This instruction asked Myrick to move "As the Greek's Signal Flame" to the bottom of page 36 and "The Dismantled Ship" to the top of page 37. [back]
  • 3. The note reads, in its entirety, "The two songs on this page are eked out during an afternoon, June, 1888, in my seventieth year, at a critical spell of illness. Of course no reader and probably no human being at any time will ever have such phases of emotional and solemn action as these involve to me. I feel in them an end and close of all" (Leaves of Grass: Comprehensive Reader's Edition, ed. Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley [New York: New York University Press, 1965], 535). [back]
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