In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Remember that the clock and

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 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 manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: Whitman likely drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass. The manuscript may relate to the following line in the first poem of that edition, 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). In his transcription of this manuscript, Richard Maurice Bucke included another paragraph at the beginning (Notes and Fragments [London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., printers, 1899], 203). See "I tell you greedy smoucher." This paragraph has not been located. Bucke's transcription also 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

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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

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