In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Niembsch Lenau

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: 1850s

Whitman Archive ID: mid.00014

Source: Middlebury College Library, Special Collections. Transcribed from digital images of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the marginalia and annotations, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: Grier estimates that this was written in the 1850s (Walt Whitman: Notebooks and Unpublished Manuscripts, ed. Edward F. Grier [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 5:1829).

Contributors to digital file: Lauren Grewe, Matt Cohen, and Nicole Gray

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Niembsch Lenau (Nicolaus Ărehlenan) Hungarian

living died 1853 insane an idiotic and animal

—from love aged 35


Tanko', the horse-herd
a popular poem
life of a Hungarian horse‑herd, scenes, characteristic adventures,—
—common life—real life.—


conversation with Mr. Held about German poets
his talk☟ as follows:

Frieligrath (frí le grät a democrat—impulsive when he meets any one, or as he walks the road, or at a meal, &c &c. he composes—he improvises easily—

Rickert, Uhland, Kinkel, Hoffman, Heine, Xavier?


Shakespeare depicts actual life,
Schiller the ideal
Goethe mixes both actual and ideal


Niebelungen Lied—scene ^much in the city of Worms and environs—Siegfried fifth century much of it dialogue, passed on from one character to another, flowing out,




Only experts in antique German can get along with the Neibelungen—it is ^as far different from modern German as the Saxon preceding Chaucer is from the present English.


Dutch —Holland

Netherlands—Have a literature, poets, historians, essayists,—first‑raters—


see over ☞

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The secret is here: ☟

Perfections are only understood and acknowledged ^responded to by perfections.—

This rule runs through all, and applies to mediocrity, crime, and all the rest; each is understood only by the like of itself.—


The Any degree of elevation developement in the soul is only responded to by the similar degree in other souls.— One AOne religion wonders at another— A nation wonders how another nation can be what it is ^—wonders how it ^can like what it likes and dislike what it dislikes; one A man wonders at another man's religon, folly and so on.—But what that a nation likes, that is Wh ^part of that nation; and what it dislikes is part of the same nation; and also its politics and religion ^whatever they are (are parts of the same nation—) and all are the inevitable results of those ^all the days and events that have preceded the condition of that the nation, just as much as the ^condition of the geology of any that part of the [ea?]rth is the [result?] [illegible]


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