In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Remember that the clock

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Before or early in 1855

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00298

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 the manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This manuscript may have contributed to the following line in the first poem of the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass (eventually titled "Song of Myself"): "The clock indicates the moment . . . . but what does eternity indicate?" (49). The last few lines of the manuscript include ideas and phrases similar to another passage of the same poem. The manuscript's likening of "God" or "the soul" to an "Elder Brother" is reminescent of lines "And I know that the hand of God is the elderhand of my own, / And I know that the spirit of God is the eldest brother of my own" (15—16). These correspondences suggest a date of before or early in 1855. In his transcription of this manuscript, Richard Maurice Bucke included another paragraph at the beginning that reads: "I tell you greedy smoucher! I will have nothing which any man or any woman, anywhere on the face of the earth, or of any color or country cannot also have" (Notes and Fragments [London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., printers, 1899], 203). This paragraph has not been located. Bucke's transcription does not include the final sentence of this manuscript.

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

[begin leaf 1 recto] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Page image:]

Remember that the clock and the hands of the clock, only tell the time—they are not themselves the aggregated years.—Time Which is greatest—time, which baffles us, or its indexes, made [by?] of wood and brass, at by ^a workman at ten dollars a week?—Time itself knows no index—it is merely for to stand us a little in help that ^we combine sets of springs and wheels [are?] and arbitrarily divide ^ it by hours and quarters—and call these miserable theseis measurersing of time.—Contemptible enough indeed are they such they all, measurersing, compared with that vast But that stunning, swimming puzzle envelopings God the soul himitself and the Elder Brother of the soul and which had no beginning and can never cease

[begin leaf 1 verso] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Page image:]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.