In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: My tongue can never be

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00008

Source: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: The similarity of this manuscript to other drafts of lines that were used in poems published in the 1855 Leaves of Grass would suggest that it was probably written between 1850 and 1855. Although none of these lines relate directly to lines published in that edition, the topic and some of the comparisons are similar to what would ultimately become sections 28 through 30 of "Song of Myself."

Related item: This leaf is held with another small leaf in plastic casing. The prose drafted on the back of these and several other related manuscript leaves includes ideas and phrases that resemble those used in "Unnamed Lands," a poem published first in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass. See duk.00003.

Contributors to digital file: Nicole Gray, Andrew Jewell, Brett Barney, and Kenneth M. Price

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My tongue must can never be content with [pap?] harness
from this after this,

It [c?] will not talk m[illegible] in traces,

It gives up the bit, and ^[illegible] any more.

So little a thing as a touch has [unhaltered?]

[illegible] [cut away]
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