In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: I see who you are

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00263

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: This manuscript was likely written between 1850 and 1855 when Whitman was composing his first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass. Draft lines on the front of the leaf appeared in the second poem in that edition, eventually titled "A Song for Occupations." The supplied last two lines on the recto, starting with "I see you and stand before you driver of horses," were added to a transcription of the manuscript that appears in Notes and Fragments, ed. Richard Maurice Bucke (London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., printers, 1899), 31. The lines are not currently written on the manuscript.

Contributors to digital file: Caitlin Henry, Nicole Gray, Kenneth M. Price, Andrew Jewell, and Chris Forster

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[Page image:]

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Now I see who you are . . if nobody else sees, nor you either,

I see not so much that you are the quality as of the President
or Judge of the Supreme Court, or a millionaire that you are polite or whitefaced or a citizen of our of the an old states, or a citizen of a new state,

I see less the quality of Alabamian, or Canadian,
British, French, ^ off there, . . . . or as a Malay or from Africa . . . .

I see forward the or savage ^off there in the woods, the or fisheater in
his lair of rocks and sand, the or Chinese ^with his transverse eyes . . . in
his roofed boat , ^ or . . . . the or wandering nomad, and
the or tabounshick at the head of his drove,

I see meMan and womean and children in all

I see tThese indoors and outdoors ^I see . . . . and all else ^is is behind them or through them,.—

I see the wife . . . . and she is not one jot less than the husband,

I see the mother . . . . and she is every bit as much as the fath

I see you engineer, laboring person, minister, drunkard,
editor, immigrant,

I see you and stand before you, boatmen and sailors sailors, manofwarsmen and merchantmen and coastman

[cut away]
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[I see you and stand before you driver of horses,]

[Son, progenitor]

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[Page image:]

These This are the old new Now for a legend not old, but as new as the newest
on the rolling spreading land


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