In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: you cannot define too clearly

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: 1850s

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00164

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Editorial note: Based on the handwriting, Edward Grier dates this manuscript to the 1850s (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 4:1593).

Contributors to digital file: Janel Cayer, Jeannette Schollaert, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, and Kenneth M. Price

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you cannot define too clearly what it is you love in a poem or in a man or woman.

A work of ^a great poet is not remembered for its parts—but remembered as you remember the complete person ^and spirit of him or her you love.—

The[n?] [illegible] are [illegible] from [illegible] with freedom, justice, [illegible]

When he becomes is vitalized with nationality and individuality from top to toe—when he seizes upon life with simple and masculine power—when he stands out in simple relief, as America does—



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