In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: distinctness every syllable the flounderer

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: 1840s or early 1850s

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00119

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

Editorial note: 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.

Contributors to digital file: Kirsten Clawson, Janel Cayer, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, Kenneth M. Price, and Brett Barney

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distinctness every syllable the flounderer spoke, up to his hips in the snow, and blinded by the cutting ^sharp white crystals [illegible] making ^that made the air densely one one opaque white.—He swore, prayed, howled, ^and wept.—The Pete was terrified himself.—It was the dark blackest ^and bitterest night, and ^by far the wildest storm he had ever known.—The snow lay deep, and in had many huge drifts.—He went up aloft in the garret and gave athe young ^farm laborer a dollar in cash [in hand?] to get up and go with him in search of the tipsy friend.—While they stood inside the door, listening more clearly for the point whence the poor young fellow's cries proceeded, they could hear ^every word with the minutest clearness; but when they reach one rod from the stoop, and stoodanding in the storm, ^of not one sound could they were they conscious except the soughing storm, though they strained ^they ever so hard.—For an hour they plunged through the drifts, guiding themselves as well as they could by well known trees and fences. Pete had had been satisfied, while listening in the house, that the drunken youth was stuck in a certain field, just usually a shorter cut across the road.—So they went treading to and fro over that field ground, feeling as well as they could with their feet; and sure enough, at last, there they felt hit him, under the snow, ^perfectly stiff and still.—They [h?] carried him back to the house, and had a good time fighting the death in him the whole night. But they saved him.—

Coarse, wild, sensual, and st strong, was this young man's nature; and ^for coarse wild and strong had been his life.—He had has large and ugly qualities enough, [illegible]but it he was is self complete, and his very grossness and dishonesty are noble, from ^their candor. [a?] All The castrated cant ^goodness of schools and churches, he knew nothing of

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